David Eggen delays Education Act and reviews provincial bargaining
Alberta’s new education minister David Eggen says he has no intention of changing the province’s education delivery structure, which includes the public system, home-schooling, and charter and private schools.
“Ideologically, we believe in a public model that allows each person to get the best education possible regardless of their ability to pay and, in fact, we know through economies of scale that is a logical way to go,” said Eggen, as reported in the Calgary Herald.
“[But] I’ve inherited an education system that has other models that deliver education,” he said. “For the sake of security, for the sake of stability in our education at this point, I have no plans to change that landscape here in the province of Alberta.”
Eggen was speaking to reporters after addressing delegates at the Alberta School Boards’ Association spring meeting in Red Deer.
Education Act delayed
Eggen also said he’s delaying the proclamation of the new Education Act that passed under the previous PC government. He said he’s struck a subcommittee to review the legislation and its accompanying regulations to ensure that they align with the principles of his NDP government.
“It’s the first major change in education legislation in a generation, and we want to make sure we got it right,” he said. “I will be responsible for the act when it is enacted, and I want to make sure that it follows the principles that guided our last election.”
The new act received royal assent in 2012 and was scheduled to be proclaimed in September. It’s now more likely that it will be enacted next year, Eggen said.
Bargaining committee struck
Eggen has also struck a subcommittee to look into the issue of provincial bargaining with teachers, the Red Deer Advocate reported.
He noted that many issues, including negotiations, had become very centralized under the previous PC government.
“Quite frankly, I’ve taken offence to that over the years, to how much decisions were being pushed into Edmonton when they should be empowering ... democratically-elected trustees,” he said. ❚