Political Updates

Potential Changes, and a Chance to Review

To all AHEA members and Alberta home educators:

With the recent change in our provincial government, all Albertans await possible legislative change on several fronts.
One of those may be in education.

For example, Education Minister Dave Eggen and his team are reviewing the Education Act (passed in 2012 but never declared law).
This review, and a similar review of the regulations that fall under the Education Act, may bring only slight modifications or may bring significant change.
AHEA representatives have a meeting scheduled with Minister Eggen in early October and we hope to get more information then.

In the meantime, another change to be expected is in communication with the team at Alberta Education.
Some of the bureaucrats within Alberta Education are new in their positions and so we - home educators and those who are the administrators of home education at schools and school boards - have new challenges ahead in communicating ‘what home education is all about’.

Since we can’t assume that interpretation and enforcement of regulations will be the same as it has in the past, it would be wise for all home educators and administrators to revisit what is required so that there is no opening for bureaucratic censure.
In other words, home educators already know that we do a terrific job in providing education to our children and we should do the same terrific job in our organization and paperwork.

For Alberta home educators, this starts with the paragraph at the end of the form that we all sign: the Notification Form.
That paragraph details what is required in an Education Program Plan.
It would be wise for all home educating families to make sure their plans contain all of the elements required.

Here’s that paragraph:

If portions of the student program will enable the student to achieve the outcomes contained in the Schedule included in the Home Education Regulation, please attach according to this Form the required written description of the Home Education Program for a student who is following the Schedule of Learning Outcomes for Students Receiving Home Education Programs That Do Not Follow the Alberta Programs of Study:

  1. Describe in the home education program plan, the instructional method to be used, the activities planned for the program and how the instructional method and the activities will enable the student to achieve the learning outcomes contained in the Schedule.
  2. Identify the resource materials, if different from provincially authorized materials, to be used for instruction.
  3. Describe the methods and nature of the evaluation to be used to assess the student’s progress, the number of evaluations and how the evaluation addresses the learning outcomes in Question 1.
  4. Describe the associate board or associate private school facilities and services that the parent wishes to use.

Home educators provide a wonderful education for their children.
Examples of that are abundant and obvious and those who are interested in a better education for their children are attracted by our examples.
If we are also examples of organized planning then we make it easier for all to avoid any further bureaucratic intrusions.

Paul van den Bosch
Alberta Home Education Association

Alberta Education Funding Update

On Thursday, May 29, Premier Rachel Notley and Education Minister David Eggen released a financial statement on funding for all Alberta schools, including private schools and home education.

Before the recent provincial election, home educators had been concerned that growth would not be funded (a particular concern among home educators as home education grew by over 8% from 2013/14 to the current school year).

The financial statement released on May 29 reversed the funding freeze planned by the previous PC government thus allowing Independent Contracted Home Education Specialists (ICHES) to continue to operate with consistency and provide choice to home educating families.

(For details on how this will affect your family's funding, please contact the school or school board with whom you are notified).

Although we don't know what this will mean for the future beyond 2015/16, this is good news for home educating families and, we hope and pray, the beginning of a fruitful relationship with the new government.

Further to the May 29 announcement, Education Minister David Eggen announced on June 2nd that the Education Act, passed in 2012 but never declared law, would need further review. This delay was expected and AHEA will continue to speak up for home educators and parental authority during this review.

It should be noted that the news article on Minister Eggen's June 2nd announcement included the following paragraph: "But Eggen said he has no intention of changing the current structure that sees education delivered through several models such as home-schooling, charter and private schools, as well as the public system."

AHEA thanks all home educators for speaking up during the recent provincial election campaign so that the concerns of home educators were clearly heard.

Paul van den Bosch
Alberta Home Education Association

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