School Act Consultations
The Government has decided to not proclaim the Education Act for the 2017-18 school year and will continue to use the School Act as the legislation for education in Alberta. The School Act will be brought before the legislature this fall with specific legislative administrative changes to be debated.
Alberta Education is currently conducting a series of consultation meetings to review specific areas of the School Act. The items that are being consulted on came from discussions through the Minister's Board tours this past spring and summer as well as further work on Bill 1 and School Fees. AHEA's attendance at these meetings was not requested, but Assistant Deputy Minister Wendy Boje did meet with AHEA President, Patty Marler to discuss the consultations and the review. ADM Boje indicated that the School Act consult this fall focuses on three areas:
- Educational Service Agreements:
The focus is on service agreements between First Nations communities and local public/catholic school boards
- Age of Entry:
This discussion focuses on the determining the youngest age at which a student may access funding for education with the idea that a standardized age would provide consistency across the province. (i.e. must be 5 prior to Dec.31/Feb.28/Jan 31) (The Education Act had established a common age of entry)
- Age of Access:
This topic reviews the maximum age for providing educational funding to students and how programming is to be implemented for older students. (currently at 19, although funded to age 20, consult is exploring up to the age 21)
It is important to note that AHEA president, Patty Marler, clarified with ADM Boje that the compulsory ages for education will not be changed in the School Act. The School Act defines Compulsory education as being required between the ages of 6 (at September 1) and 16 (younger than 16 on September 1 of the school year).
No educational choice changes to the School Act are to be proposed during this review of the School Act. AHEA advocated for a notification only option for home educators.
It is important to note that AHEA and AHEPS were notified and provided the opportunity to provide input on behalf of home educators relevant to the identified School Act review topics.
President of AHEA