Per-Student voucher system undermines the public education system

IN Response

November 14, 2019

IN Response To: Policy 15 of the UCP AGM introducing the voucher system for per-student funding

Key Message

Alberta’s public education system already provides a world-class standard of learning open to all students, regardless of socio-economic base, religious beliefs or student capabilities.

Talking Points

  • Alberta’s public education is universally available to all Albertans.
    • 95 per cent of our province’s students attend public, separate and francophone schools.
    • It does not matter what the parent’s income is, their religious beliefs or how smart the student is.
    • Policy 15 promotes boutique education in urban areas. Rural settings won’t be able to maintain choice—they are struggling with maintaining their existing schools.
  • Alberta’s public education system maintains a high level of accountability.
    • It is led by democratically elected boards that reflect the needs of the entire community.
  • The only way policy 15 could be cost-neutral is if public education is further diminished to pay for the programs aimed at the small, self-selected elite.
  • The voucher system is the opposite of equity in education.
    • It favours privilege for those who are already enjoying privileged living.
    • It supports spending where spending is not necessary.

Key Impression

A voucher system to provide equal per-student funding undermines the equity, accessibility and accountability of public education in Alberta.

Additional Points

  • Alberta’s public, separate and francophone schools provide the best education available to students internationally, as indicated by PISA results. They provide good value to Albertans.
  • Alberta’s public, separate and francophone schools educate a larger, more diverse student population than any other jurisdiction.
  • Alberta has the best public, separate and francophone education in the English speaking world.

Take part in Alberta Education’s development of the Choice in Education Act by clicking on the link below. It is vital that the viewpoints of all teachers, parents and public education stakeholders be heard.