NDP calls for denouncement of per-student funding model
EDMONTON -- Alberta NDP Education Critic Sarah Hoffman called on Premier Jason Kenney to denounce a per-student funding model proposed by a central Alberta constituency.
The proposal would mean schools would get an amount of money based on how many students are in attendance, according to Hoffman.
"What's being proposed here is very divisive. It causes a lot of tension between different kinds of programing and people are fighting over what is a shrunken pot of money," Hoffman said. "Instead, I think he needs to say, ‘We're not going to do this, we're going out have a strong public and catholic school system,' and fund it properly."
Hoffman said her request for the premier is simple: She wants him to make a promise.
"The premier is going to call what we're saying today fear and smear. I know he’s going to. But what I'm looking for from him is less rhetoric and just a simple commitment that he won't turn to a voucher system that attacks public education."
In the "rationale" section of the proposal, the public and catholic school curriculums are criticized, saying they don't provide students adequate language, math, science or historical knowledge.
It also says "students are entering adulthood unemployable and increasingly radicalized by extremist ideologies."
Hoffman said that while the proposal still has to be debated at the party's upcoming convention, they can quickly become legislation.
“We saw that before with a bill around GSAs. At that time they said, 'Well, this is just one constituency.' Well, then it passed. And then the Premier said, 'Well, I hold the pen.' But then he didn't. He actually pushed a bill forward that did exactly what that resolution called on him to do."
In response to Hoffman’s comments, Colin Aitchison, Press Secretary for the Minister of Education, sent CTV News Edmonton a statement that said, in part:
"We will not be commenting on a proposed policy resolution that had not even been debated."
The UCP annual general meeting will take place in Calgary between Nov. 29 and Dec 1.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Jeremy Thompson