Alberta’s new Education Act proposal could result in many changes within the Wolf Creek School Division.
According to Wolf Creek superintendent Larry Jacobs, Bill 3 has had two readings. Now, it’ll typically go through an amendment and clause review process, Jacobs said.
“Some new aspects of the Education Act refer to powers of the boards. That may modify how the boards can act, including our own,” said Jacobs. “It’s going to drive the way so many things work; transportation, inclusion.”
“We might have to rewrite the policies and procedures that drive the way the organization operates,” Jacobs added.
The Wolf Creek School Division has a 2.4 kilometre radius guide for bus transportation student grants. Changes in the act could make the radius smaller, which could alter factors such as funding and the number of buses required.
Changes to school program inclusion may also be subject to change, Jacobs said. “Under the old School Act we were given a geographical area within the province. Under the old act, schools and divisions are required to provide educational programs for students within their geographical are. The new act will allow students from other areas access to a school’s programs.
Jacobs says this could provide challenges for schools in communicating with a student’s parents.
Jacobs says Alberta Education hopes to have the act approved by spring but implementing it from its currents stage could take longer than a year.
“The Education Act brings to life the vision for education that thousands of Albertans shared with us through Inspiring Education,” Education Minister Jeff Johnson said, in a press release.
The press release also states the act acknowledges that students, teachers, and especially parents need to work together to provide the best education for students.
“The Education Act is actually the first legislation in Canada to formally recognize the role of parents as a child’s first and most important teacher,” said Johnson. “As a parent, that is something I am very proud of.”