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New Education Minister and Spring Session of the Legislature, 2012

New Education Minister
Premier Redford announced her new Cabinet on May 8, 2012.  The new Education Minister is Jeff Johnson, MLA for Athabasca-Redwater.  Mr. Johnson was elected to the Alberta Legislature in 2008.  On October 12, 2011, during his first term as MLA, Mr. Johnson was sworn in as Minister of Infrastructure.  He also served as Political Minister-Northern
Alberta and was Vice-Chair of the Treasury board.
Related to education, Mr. Johnson co-chaired the Steering Committee on Inspiring Education, the government’s venue of consultation and input in developing the Proposed Education Act.
Mr. Johnson, along with his wife and their 3 children live in Athabasca.
Please pray for Mr. Johnson as this Ministry is a great responsibility.  AHEA looks forward to working alongside Mr. Johnson. 
Spring Legislative Session: No Legislation to be Debated
In a press conference held on May 2, 2012, Premier Redford announced a spring session.  Premier Redford stated that there will be no legislation on the table during this session.  She stated that Bill 2: Education Act will not be debated during the spring session (http://soundcloud.com/your-alberta/premier-redford-may-2-2012 at 10:00)

April 27, 2012 AHEA alert


April 27, 2012

A new government has been formed, and with it comes returning and new
members of the legislative assembly.

We had an intense time of lobbying efforts prior to the writ being dropped
and the election being called. Many letters, phone calls and e-mails were
sent to our elected representatives bringing issues related to the Education Act
to light and urging MLAs to action. However, the real faces of home education
- you and your children - may still be unknown to many MLAs.

AHEA is recommending that home educating families take time now to meet on
a more informal basis with their new or returning MLA.  Meet with them
casually, congratulate them on being elected to their position, and allow
MLAs to get to know homeschool families. It is very important that your
elected representative comes to know you, so they may put faces to home education.

Even if you had face-to-face contact with your MLA before the election,
please take this time to have a courteous meeting to build relationships.
Take this opportunity to be the face behind the name, the family behind
the efforts.

AHEA urges all homeschool families to meet the government representatives
who will be representing them in the legislature.

We also want you to know that AHEA is continuing to advocate for the
rights and freedoms of home educators and all parents, and so we will be
sending a letter to the Premier and to all MLAs. (Please go to our Political
page to see that letter).

Continue your diligent home education and recording practices.  As
always, AHEA recommends homeschoolers become members of HSLDA in order to
have legal advice available as needed and to stay abreast of the issues.

Letter to Premier and MLAs, April 27, 2012

Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA)
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
April 27, 2012
The Honourable Alison Redford
Premier of Alberta
307 Legislature Bldg
10800-97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
T5K 2B6
April 25, 2012
An Open Letter to the Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford, and to all of our newly-elected MLAs:
At this time, the Alberta Home Education Association congratulates the Progressive Conservative party on its election victory and we look forward, as always, to working together with the government to improve education in our great province.
Before the election, we had worked for several years with two Education Ministers – Dave Hancock and then Thomas Lukaszuk – and our efforts focused on improving education for all children through the recognition of the role of parents in that education.
To that end, we welcome the introduction and the passing of a new Education Act.
The goal of AHEA, before the election and still today, is to work with the government and all concerned parties to create an Education Act wherein the role of parents – and, indeed, the role of teachers and the Ministry of Education – continues to be respected and made clear.
The education of every child will be improved the more the parents of that child are involved in his or her education – including when that child attends a school – and so the role of parents must be recognized in any Education Act as paramount.
This is the goal of AHEA: to protect parental rights.
In order to do that, AHEA continues to ask that there be no reference to the Alberta Human Rights Act in any Education Act.
(AHEA would request several other things be made clear in the Act and we would welcome the opportunity to present those concerns at a meeting with the Premier and a meeting with the Minister of Education once that person is chosen).
The reason for requesting exclusion of the AHRA comes, in fact, from our deep concern for human rights: the AHRA is a narrowly-defined act intended to correct prejudice and inequality in the areas of employment, tenancy and public notices but not education (or, for that matter, many other areas of everyday life in Alberta).
To ask the AHRA to cover education – and, in effect, asking Human Rights commissioners to rule over education – is stretching the legislation beyond its capabilities and usefulness and would also make it the role of HR commissioners to determine the suitability of any education program.
AHEA recognizes that the government has an interest in education – not the paramount right, which lies with parents, but a ‘compelling interest’ as defined by the Supreme Court.
So AHEA does not want the Minister of Education to be removed from the supervision of education by relinquishing that supervision to commissioners.
Parents and teachers cannot negotiate with a Human Rights tribunal and so no parent – and no teacher in any school (public, Catholic, private, charter, home school, etc.) – wants to be under the microscope of such a commission, especially since commissioners are not educators.
Putting the Human Rights Act into the Education Act actually puts the Minister of Education under that same microscope too.
Currently, home educators in Alberta are respected in their role and Alberta parents enjoy freedom of choice in education, and AHEA fully expects that respect and freedom to continue.
We have worked with the government for many years to build this strong foundation and we look forward to working together again on the future review of the Home Education Regulation.
AHEA thanks the government for its consistency in the past which has led to this stability, and we look forward to collaborating in the future to make education in Alberta even better.
Thank you and best wishes for the future,
The Board of Directors of AHEA
Ted Tederoff – President,                                  Chris Rogers - Vice-President
Paul van den Bosch - AHEA Spokesperson      Patty Marler - Government Liaison
Terry Yaceyko                                                    Richard Yaceyko
Shannon Tederoff                                              Juanita Rogers

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