Moratorium on Catholic School Construction

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By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

ourIDEA is calling for a moratorium on Catholic school construction. A press release was published today (ourIDEA, 2017a). They make an explicit series of calls.

Former Alberta Education Minister David King has made the call. Earlier in November, he made a petition calling for a referendum on the continuance of separate Catholic school boards (ourIDEA, 2017b).

This is an exciting time in Canada, in Alberta. The call is for the merger of public and Catholic school boards. It is to keep things up to date regarding human rights practices. In addition, it will save money.

There are three main points in the press release. One is the moratorium on construction of the Catholic separate publicly-funded schools pending the outcome of the Saskatchewan court case, which is a recent case.

The second point is that they call “on the provincial government to issue a Moratorium pending the completion of a comprehensive and transparent review of the criteria that determine approval of new school construction” (ourIDEA, 2017a).

Lastly, they then “insist that the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association (ACSTA) rescind their non-cooperation policy demanding stand-alone Catholic schools.”

There will be a special event on November 27, which is a panel discussion and conversation about the future of separate school boards.

David King will present, Luke Fevin who is a parent advocate will be there, and the former Catholic School Board Trustee Patricia Grell will be there as well. You can RSVP to attend at the University of Alberta in Telus Building Room 150.

All information in the reference link.

We invite Albertans to join us in a campaign calling for a referendum on the unification of Public and Catholic school boards. From Milk River to Keg River, and from Lloydminster to Blairmore, it is time for a thoughtful conversation, involving every interested Albertan, about why we duplicate administration and services, and operate under-utilized schools, to preserve a denominational privilege that is out of keeping with current human rights practices and may no longer be relevant.

The recent provincial budget revealed serious on-going financial shortfalls for the provincial government.  In education, this raises questions about duplicating administration and infrastructure costs when the money could be re-directed to the classroom for better service to students or reduced costs to parents.  Imagine how much further school fees could have been reduced without the current cost of duplication.

David King, Former Education Minister

References

ourIDEA. (2017a, November 14). ourIDEA Calls for a Moratorium on Catholic School Construction. Retrieved from http://www.ouridea.ca/nov_14th_moratorium_on_catholic_school_construction?utm_campaign=nov14mr&utm_medium=email&utm_source=publicyes.

ourIDEA. (2017b). Petition: It’s time for a referendum on separate schools. Retrieved from http://www.ouridea.ca/referendum.

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