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AHEA Convention 2015: Heart of the Home

New NDP Government

The Alberta Home Education Association wishes to congratulate Alberta's premier elect, Rachel Notley, and her New Democratic Party.

During the election campaign, many NDP candidates spoke of "standing up for the little guy" and we sincerely hope that that stance will continue and that the NDP will stand up and support home education.

Home education is indeed "the little guy" in Alberta, although our numbers are steadily growing.

Here are some numbers to keep in mind:

- There are almost 10,000 home educated students in Alberta for the 2014/15 school year (that number does not include "blended", "fully aligned", or "Alberta Education online" students)

- The number of home educated students in 2014/15 is up over 8% from 2013/14

- Those 10,000 students still represent less than 1.5% of the total Alberta student population (and less then 2/100ths of a percent of the Alberta Education budget)

- That makes home education "the little guy" and yet we saved Alberta taxpayers over $80 million in 2014/15!

The election of the new government under the NDP party, means that they will develop their own budget. As we await their new budget, we really have no firm direction on what is going to happen financially with home education.

Again, AHEA congratulates the new NDP government and Wildrose opposition, and we also offer sincere thanks to all those MLAs from all political parties who have supported home education in the past.

We hope that support for home education and for parental rights and freedoms will continue to be strong among all parties for years to come.

Paul van den Bosch

President

Alberta Home Education Association

Last Two Days of AHEA Convention Early Bird Discounts

Last Two Days for AHEA Convention Early Bird Discounts

In order to receive the Early Bird Discount rate, all Mail-in registrations must be postmarked by March 6 - please do not mail in registration forms after March 6.

Although Early Bird Discount Rates are only in effect until March 6, 2015, online registration will continue to be available until April 4, 2015. You may register at the door after that date.

January 31st Deadline: Please Respond to Draft Home Ed Regulation

E News January 29, 2015 - To all AHEA members and Alberta home educators:

The Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA) met with Education Minister Gordon Dirks on Tuesday January 27th 2015. The Minister listened to AHEA’s concerns but he did not commit to any specific action.

At this time then, the AHEA board again asks you to please submit your feedback to the draft Home Education Regulation via the government’s link and directly to the Education Minister (see links at the end of this e News).

You have only until January 31st to do so, although emails to the Minister can still be sent after this date.

1 - The key point to make is that staff of Alberta Education are defining what home education is and what it isn’t (which is what PARENTS have the authority to do) thereby reducing parental freedom and educational choice.

In order to halt this bureaucratic intrusion and ensure the continued existence of independent contracted home education specialists (ICHES), AHEA asks that the words “employed by the associate board or associate private school” be removed from Section 3.8 and Section 4.2.b of the draft regulation.

Removing these words would make clearer that such ICHES specialists are allowed under the regulation.

(A brief explanation: an ‘independent contracted home education specialist’ is an organization, such as WISDOM or Education Unlimited or THEE, which specializes in providing services and teachers to home education parents. Such ICHES specialists make home education the primary or sole focus in order to provide individualized services to home educated students.)

2 - AHEA has no concerns with the student learning outcomes in the draft regulation - they are the same as in the current regulation, but does have a question.

On May 6, 2013 Ministerial Order 001.2013 on student learning outcomes was signed: https://education.alberta.ca/media/6950988/mostudentlearning.pdf

This new order replaced Ministerial order 004/1998: https://education.alberta.ca/media/311314/422.pdf

Our question: Should the learning outcomes in the Home Education Regulation be consistent with the 2013 Ministerial Order (so that home education learning outcomes are the same as in the public system)?

3 - AHEA asks that all members and home educators respond in their own words and, in addition to the specific changes noted above, continue to focus on these issues of key importance: parental authority, less regulation, and protection of educational choice through the continued existence of independent contracted home education specialists (ICHES).

Thank you for taking the time to do this, and please continue to pray for home educators, our elected representatives, and our public servants.

Paul van den Bosch,
President
Alberta Home Education Association

To provide feedback using the Alberta Education link: http://education.alberta.ca/department/policy/education-act.aspx
Email the Minister of Education at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
To view the draft Home Education Regulation, begin on page 45: http://education.alberta.ca/media/11140412/educationact_proposedregulationsforcommentary.pdf

 

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