The Politics of Education in Alberta: Is our current Government’s approach to Education encouraging privatization of Schools?

September 24, 2020 :: Bridget Stirling
Moderated by SACPA administrator

Alberta already has the most choice in K-12 education in Canada, with private school pupils being funded to the tune of 70 percent per pupil compared to public school pupils, more than any other province. Charter schools, started in 1994 by Ralph Klein, receive the same level of per pupil funding as public schools, but are run by private parent or corporate boards. No other province in Canada even has charter schools.

Since gaining power in the spring of 2019, Alberta’s UCP Government has lifted the cap on establishing charter schools and is advocating for a voucher system that would increase the per student public funding to Alberta’s private schools from 70 percent to 100 percent. The shift would arguably encourage many more private and religious education schools, more segregation—and more inequality.

To top off the “Politics of Education”, Alberta’s Government has paused the previous NDP Government’s work on curriculum changes and is employing panels of “experts”, including an all-male group of advisors, to determine an outcome. The speaker will provide more background on these issues and give her opinions on why a strong public school system is important to the well-being of our Alberta communities.

Speaker: Bridget Stirling

Bridget Stirling is a PhD student in the University of Alberta’s Department of Educational Policy Studies, where she is interested in children's rights and the politics of childhood. Her doctoral research focuses on education reform movements and education law and policy in Alberta. She serves as a research assistant on Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future, a SSHRC-funded Partnership Grant investigating history education in Canada, where she examines the development and politics of teaching standards in history and social studies education.

Bridget holds an MA in Intercultural and International Communication from Royal Roads University. In addition to her doctoral studies, Bridget serves as an Edmonton Public School Board trustee.

Date and time: Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 10am MST

YouTube Livestream:

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