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Reflections on a Private Member's Bill...

Over the last few days, it has been interesting to watch the reaction to MLA Kent Hehr's Private Members Bill regarding funding to private schools here in Alberta.

I will admit, I was shocked when I first moved to Alberta from Ontario, at the amount of funding and the different kinds of school options offered here.  However, now that I have worked in a wide variety of schools and with special needs programs IN public schools: I get it.

Alberta has the highest drop out rate in the country - and my guess is that it is not just jobs in the oil patch that draw students out of school. We are not serving the needs of those students.  I know curriculum has been updated blah, blah, blah.  I know that we are on this mysterious path to inclusion. but we are trying to create a system for a student that either doesn't exist OR are so rare, its a miracle we get students as far as we do.

Let's develop a system that serves the many, not the middle of the road.  That allows for diverse NEEDS & interests to be served.  Let's create a system that prides itself on individualized education, well educated, prepared and flexible teachers for all classrooms. Let's focus on a system that bends without compromising quality and gives teachers the latitude AND resources they need to reach the majority, not just the middle of the pack.

Until we are ready to overhaul the system, leave the funding where it is - at least someone out there is trying to meet the needs of special needs kids, the ones that fall through the public system and into my office.

3 Comments to Reflections on a Private Member's Bill...:

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Michele Gibson on November-29-12 12:44 AM
Having had children in both a public and private setting allows me a different perspective than most. Choice is good. The public system served my son very well (he graduated with honours) but will not work for my daughter. The reasons why people choose private schools for their children varies. It's not all about wealth or religion. It could be about smaller classes, less stress for your child, more one on one time with an aide or teacher which allows your child to reach their full potential. Isn't that what education is all about - children learning and reaching their full potential. I agree the funding needs to stay in place. I am a taxpayer like every other Albertan and my tax dollars should support my choice to send my daughter where she will have the best opportunity to get an education - just like it did with my son's public schooling.
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Sabrina on December-03-12 10:30 AM
Couldn't agree more! The different choices we have for educating our children are not a reflection of parents' affluence, the different choices we have are a reflection of the different needs of the children. I think that is a key point to keep in mind as the discussion around education funding runs its course.
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