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Clarification Regarding Education Grants Regulation

From: Education Deputy Minister
Date: Fri, May 27, 2016 at 9:36 AM
Subject: Clarification Regarding Education Grants Regulation

To: Superintendents of Public, Separate and Francophone School Authorities, Charter and Accredited Private Schools

Monitoring by Education staff has revealed that some school authorities operating online or regular programs are reimbursing parents approximately $1,500. I would like to remind schools and school authorities that the Education Grants Regulation clearly states that the education grant must be used only for the purpose for which it was intended. The practice of reimbursing parents for student participation in online or regular programs directs funding away from instructional support for student learning. Under the Education Grants Regulation, grant funding may be recovered if it is not used for its intended purpose.

If your school or school authority has policies and/or practices in place that reimburse parents for student participation in online or regular learning, please revise these policies and/or end these practices effective August 31, 2016.

The only provision that currently permits school authorities to pay families directly is with regard to home education. As per the Home Education Regulation, an associate school authority must offer parents of a home education student not less than 50 per cent of the home education grant for the purchase of instructional materials. The home education grant provided to authorities is $1,670.81, meaning the reimbursement offered should not be less than $835. Parents must provide the associate school authority with receipts to show how this funding was spent, as the purpose of this reimbursement is to defray costs associated with the programs of study, instructional materials or other resources related to the home education program.

Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.

Sincerely,

Curtis Clarke, PhD

Deputy Minister of Education

June and Summer 2016 AHEA Update

On May 29, 2016, the Deputy Minister of Education announced that effective August 31, 2016, the only funding that will be made available to parents for school completed at home will be under the Home Education Regulation. This is not a result of any legislative change, but is a reflection of the legal situation which has always existed in Alberta.
Alberta Education has indicated that it will take school authorities time to determine new policies and procedures. If you have been teaching your children at home in a totally or partially school directed program, the policy around reimbursing parents for resources may be changing. Parents making plans for the 2016/17 school year should be aware of changes and possible implications.
For more information and to read the latest AHEA EAlert, please go to the below link:
**
"The Minister of Education has announced, in the last few weeks, that the 2012 Education Act (passed by the legislature but not yet proclaimed) and the Regulations that fall under it, will need further review. The Minister also announced that his ministry would be undertaking a thorough curriculum review of the Alberta Program of Studies.
AHEA will be part of both of these reviews and, as always, will advocate strongly for home educators and for parental rights and freedoms."
**
"Recently, there was an unprovoked and baseless attack on the reputation of AHEA and on the individuals on the board. As we have made clear repeatedly, AHEA has not and will not compromise the rights and freedoms of Alberta home educators and parents.
A handful of parents contacted AHEA to ask questions based on the misinformation and errors they had been told and we clarified things for them. As always, if you need information on anything regarding home education in Alberta, please contact us using our Contact page."

May 2016 Update

As of this writing, Alberta is experiencing a hot and dry spring.
Forest fires have caused the current evacuation of Fort McMurray and other areas are in danger.

We ask all Alberta home educators to join us in prayer for the protection and safety of all Albertans and for those fighting the fires.


AHEA would like to thank all Alberta home educators and parents for their quick and vocal response to the NDP amendment to the recent private member's motion moved by PC leader Ric McIver.

The original motion passed unanimously in the legislature on Monday.

Although this is good news – and the parental response noted earlier was even better news - it should be noted that the wording of the original motion ("allowing parents to choose") is not as strong as it could be.

Parents have the prior right to choose the education of their children, and that is not something "allowed" by government but something that is a God-given right.


On December 16th 2015 and again on March 28th 2016 (see Political Updates) AHEA informed its members that, in response to a plan by Alberta Education bureaucrats to impose standardized testing on home educated students, we made a strong statement to Minister Eggen that no new assessment was required.

The minister had indicated that he needed to report on the money being spent on home education.

His department wanted standardized testing. AHEA advised the minister that the information he needed was contained in the evaluations already being done by home educating parents with their facilitators.

Parents write the education plan for their children, and parents – usually on a daily basis – evaluate their children anecdotally: "my son/daughter is meeting expectations in this area, not quite meeting expectations in that area, and far exceeding expectations in these other areas".

Our proposal was simply to use this information – 'progress based on the plan', a concept discussed openly by all administrators and facilitators who attended the December Networks North meeting –from assessments already being done by parents and to which the Minister already has access, and organize it.

That was our statement to the Minister: "no new evaluation".

Despite misinformation being spread and confusion being sown to the contrary, that was our position then and remains our position today.

AHEA has not compromised on that nor would we ever.


Please keep an eye on this website for exciting news, coming soon, about speakers at our 2017 convention.

Blessings on all Alberta families.

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