Bill 15 passed second reading in the Legislature on June 9, 2020. The Bill is now 'In Committee Of The Whole' which means that the whole Legislature will discuss possible amendments, which could be considered. AHEA is satisfied with the wording of the Bill's support of home education, which reinforces the primacy of a parent's right to choose the education of their child, the acknowledgement of home education as an equal choice and makes possible the additional option of notification only, no funding because of the phrase, 'supervision, if any' being clarified. Home educators should support this Bill and reaching out to your politicians at this time to encourage them would be wise. You can find your MLAs on AHEA's new page "How to Contact YOUR Politicians."
AHEA has been working with the Minister's Office and Alberta Education throughout this process. More work is required as we move to the Home Education Regulations being amended by Minister LaGrange to flesh out Bill 15's intentions. This is a work in progress, and while there is much anticipation in wanting to know how the Regulations will read, please be patient while we await the actual wording.
AHEA's continued interaction with the government has allowed us to reinforce that when we have advocated for a Notification Only option, we did mean 'only,' not 'plus!' AHEA has never suggested that a parent submit a notification plan directly to the government. The discussion around the parent's responsibility for the education plan of the child is being worked on as I write this. If the Minister wishes to provide a distinct, new option, it must be different from what we already have access to, and Ontario provides an example. We feel that our position is clearly understood, and efforts to continue communicating are mutual. Your continued prayers are appreciated while we work.
You will be informed as soon as there is more formal news. It is no surprise that there is opposition to this from other groups. While we do not feel the need to respond directly, we do encourage our members to exercise caution in what they may read as it may not fully present the information you seek in a positive or appropriate context. We also encourage all members to be unified in the expansion of home education options, regardless of it being a choice that you would consider in your own family situation. As a community, standing together and supporting each other in strengthening home education in law, regulation and perception is a work that we share. Being wise in our words, patient while awaiting facts and persevering in the pursuit of our goals will make each AHEA member an asset.
Keep your eyes open for further updates, expected shortly, with exciting information on more changes to our funding guidelines and the standards of reimbursements.