Public Schools? Private Schools? Charter Schools? Navigating the Complexities of Alberta’s Education System


June 16, 2016 :: : Barbara Silva and Lisa Turner
Moderated by Shannan Little

Alberta has a complex educational system that includes public schools, charter schools, and private schools. Recent action in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and by some school boards, as well as the current review of legislation, demonstrate a need for a provincial conversation. What makes for an equitable educational system that serves diverse learning needs and provides for quality schooling?

Historical reasons for this complexity will be explored detailing the various school systems and how each are funded. The speakers will also explain differences between the systems in terms of accessibility and governance and describe how an equitable and fair education system ought to function in today’s Alberta.

Speakers: Barbara Silva and Lisa Turner

Barbara Silva is a Public Education Advocate and Communications Director for Support our Students Alberta. Born in Ontario but raised all over Canada she attended 11 different public and separate schools in Alberta & Ontario.  She holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary.  She worked in the Oil & Gas industry for 6 years before pursuing her Master of Education from the University of Western Ontario in London.  After working in the Rockyview School Division for four years, she now volunteers her time to advocate for children’s rights to an accessible, quality and equitable public education with the organization “Support Our Students Alberta”, which was the proud recipient of Alberta Teachers Association’s 2015 Public Education Award for outstanding contribution to Public Education

Lisa Turner is the Policy Director for Support our Students Alberta and a passionate public education advocate.  Born and raised in Saskatchewan, she had the pleasure of attending public schools in the Regina Board of Education.  She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Regina and a diploma in Nuclear Medicine Technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.  After working in acute care medicine, Lisa moved to the not-for-profit sector, whetting her advocacy chops at the Canadian Cancer Society through initiatives to bring smoke-free spaces to Alberta. Now a serial volunteer and mom, Lisa enjoys supporting important community initiatives like accessible and equitable public education.

Moderator: Shannan Little

Date: Thursday, June 16, 2016
Time: Noon - 1:30 pm
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea)


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