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Education Act Amendments Forthcoming

Education Act Amendments Forthcoming

While most school work is wrapping up, Hon. Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange is getting down to business after these first few weeks of settling into her office and up to speed. She continues to have as her Deputy Minister Curtis Clark, who has been in this ministry for quite some time.

The UCP had promised pre-election to read in the Education Act that had already passed the required three readings and was ready to be enacted. However, it will not be introduced as is. This Monday, the Minister is scheduled to introduce Bill 8 – Education Amendment Act, 2019 with a second reading scheduled for this Thursday afternoon. What will these amendments entail? We have yet to find out.

What we do know is that everyone is brushing up on their familiarity with the Education Act. Interestingly, the President of the Public School Board's Assoc. for Alberta is publically calling on the Minister to delay the implementation for 1 year, as they would like more time to review it and further consultations. The issue of growth funding for increased student counts is looming large as well, and that is anticipated to be tackled on Monday as well with Bill 6 being introduced – the Appropriation (Interim Supply) Act, 2019 by Hon. Minister of Finance Travis Toews. Again, we shall see.

The AHEA Board is reviewing the Education Act and looking forward to seeing what type of amendments Minister LaGrange is going to table. This will be a revealing indication of the direction that she is going to pursue. I encourage you to be in prayer for us as we look to advance the interests of home education and resist bad law being enshrined. We also ask that you pray for Minister LaGrange, that she is able to be a strong advocate for the parental rights and responsibilities that she has worked so hard on over the years.

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Our New Minister of Education

Adriana LaGrange - AB Minister of Education

Jason Kenney's choice for Education Minister was greatly anticipated since the news that the people of Alberta elected a UCP majority government. Tuesday's revelation that this post was going to be filled by Adriana LaGrange, a MLA from Red Deer, was greeted with enthusiastic support by the members of the home education community. As a mother of seven children, which include a set of identical twins, and grandmother of three, Minister LaGrange has a strong connection to family that our home education community can relate to. She is also a role model to young ladies as the second female Education Minister of Alberta. The passion and strength she has already demonstrated in her work as a Trustee of the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division and as the President of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association, confirm she is someone who is a seasoned defender of choice and parental rights. These shared foundations give us a common base to work and collaborate from.  

AHEA looks forward to working with Minister LaGrange in her new role and congratulates her on her appointment!

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Bill 24 Injunction Appeal Decision Reached

The decision by the Court of Appeal has been reached. One dissenting judge, of three, saw the risk of schools losing their funding before the case is actually heard later this year. Stay tuned for further updates as decisions will be made by the government, the lawyers and the parties involved. Prayers and politics are a good mix... both will be needed.  

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A New Day in Government

A New Day in Government

​On April 16th, 2019 the UCP government won a majority victory in Alberta. AHEA looks forward to knowing who the new Education Minister will be so that we can begin to build relationship and work together. Good news from the speech:

"The silent majority has spoken. . . not the loud and angry voices on social media. But average Albertans who simply spoke today. Those folks who simply want their common sense values reflected in their government. Who want high quality health, education and public services, but who understand that we need a vibrant public sector economy to help pay for those things. . . Albertans who believe in our great tradition of school choice because they understand that parents know better than politicians what's best for their kids."

Jason Kenney, Premier-designate
4/16/19, Victory Speech

Hands down - the winning point! Now let's see the policies that will reflect this. . .

If the 2014 Education Act is proclaimed as promised by the UCP, replacing the School Act we are currently operating under, we still need to be aware of the outstanding implications of the law contained therein. Please consider the latest article by John Carpay, titled "Battle over parental rights continues after Alberta election." The outstanding court cases are very relevant and important. We continue to encourage you to pray for the judges from the Alberta Court of Appeal that are currently deliberating on the Bill 24 Injunction, as well as the lawyers preparing for the Bill 24 case itself, which is anticipated at the end of the year if nothing changes.

Parental rights are very much still being debated in the public square, and we encourage you to be informed and engaged on this issue, as home education is directly related.

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Bill 24 Injunction Appeal - Court and Continuing to Pray

Bill 24 Injunction

 Last Monday morning was our long awaited day in court for the Bill 24 Injunction Appeal at the highest court in Alberta. I appreciate that you may or may not have read my brief and quickly written report right after being in court. You may have seen some of the news reports, which I will include for your reference below as well. I realized that one of the things that people may be less familiar with is that being in the Court of Appeal has a different focus than an initial hearing. The focus of the case is typically to convince the panel of three justices that they have grounds to overturn the decision of the lower court judge. Thus, it is more of a technical argument than you would have heard at the lower court, although the Appellants had applied to introduce a significant amount of new evidence.

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