On June 16, AHEA president, Patty Marler, along with school board associations and another home school advocacy group were invited by Alberta Education to discuss the Standards for Home Education Reimbursement. Alberta Education remained true to their word in reviewing and revisiting the document by the end of the school year.
AHEA initially met with Alberta Education in September, 2016 regarding this document. At that point and in subsequent meetings, we outlined many concerns, concerns which you later confirmed in feedback to Alberta Education. All the work undertaken has had a positive impact!
AHEA is pleased that many of the concerns identified by AHEA and home educators were addressed in a revised draft version of the Standards document. The document continues to be 'a living document' with some of AHEA's recommendations from today's meeting being considered for the 2017/2018 document or the 2018/2019 document.
AHEA advocated for parental decision making in all educational reimbursements. However, due to abuses that have occurred over the years with home education funding reimbursements, the government was clear that guidelines will continue to be implemented.
While both home education advocacy groups did not agree on some of the change items being advocated for, Alberta Education did indicate that they would meet further with AHEA to discuss our suggestions for eligible resources.
AHEA also advocated for the release of this document prior to the start of the school year, as the October 2016 release date caused challenges for both parents and home education administrations. Assistant deputy Minister Boje and Minister Eggen's chief of staff Jeremy Nolais assured AHEA that the document would be finalized and released soon.
Minister Eggen's chief of staff indicated that the finances of all school administrations - not only home education administrations - are being closely scrutinized and reviewed. The Standards for Home Education Reimbursement reflect an outcome of the review of the home education component of education in Alberta.
As always, AHEA's Patty Marler advocated for a notification only option for home educators.