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September 2016 AHEA Update

The AHEA board is pleased to announce that longtime AHEA member and home educating mom Kristine Buchholtz has agreed to serve as the new editor of HOME Matters.

Kristine and her husband have home schooled their five children for the past eighteen years, with their oldest three having moved on to postsecondary studies after having graduated from parent-directed high school programs.
They continue to home educate their two youngest children.

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AHEA would also like to welcome Korien Sampson as our new Executive Assistant.
Many people will recognize Korien as AHEA's Convention Director - a position she still capably holds!

Korien is a veteran Home schooling mom of four children.
She likes to travel, camp and swim. Korien volunteered for AHEA often in the past and has run a successful Home School Convention for AHEA for the past 3 years.

Welcome Kristine and Korien to the AHEA Team!

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AHEA would also like to thank Angeline Bowman for all her work over several years on behalf of the home educators of Alberta. Angeline volunteered under her mother, Winona Bowman, while her mother held several paid positions and Angeline has filled those positions for the past year and half. Thank you, Angeline.
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AHEA is aware that Education Unlimited continues to publish negative and misleading comments about AHEA.
AHEA acknowledges that Education Unlimited has made valuable contributions to home education in Alberta and considers the families of Education Unlimited to be a valuable part of Alberta’s home educating community.
If Education Unlimited wishes to continue to pay AHEA to advertise in our magazine and conference guide, Education Unlimited continues to be welcome to do so in spite of those Education Unlimited comments.
AHEA will continue to advocate for the rights of home educators and parents, as we always have.

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Finally, AHEA continues to monitor several situations involving home education administrations and their relationship with the Alberta government and/or Alberta bureaucrats.
At this point, there is nothing firm to report although we hope some situations will soon be resolved.
Should political action be required from our members, we will communicate with everyone quickly and clearly.
Please stay tuned.

Thank you,
The AHEA Board

Clarification Regarding Education Grants Regulation

From: Education Deputy Minister
Date: Fri, May 27, 2016 at 9:36 AM
Subject: Clarification Regarding Education Grants Regulation

To: Superintendents of Public, Separate and Francophone School Authorities, Charter and Accredited Private Schools

Monitoring by Education staff has revealed that some school authorities operating online or regular programs are reimbursing parents approximately $1,500. I would like to remind schools and school authorities that the Education Grants Regulation clearly states that the education grant must be used only for the purpose for which it was intended. The practice of reimbursing parents for student participation in online or regular programs directs funding away from instructional support for student learning. Under the Education Grants Regulation, grant funding may be recovered if it is not used for its intended purpose.

If your school or school authority has policies and/or practices in place that reimburse parents for student participation in online or regular learning, please revise these policies and/or end these practices effective August 31, 2016.

The only provision that currently permits school authorities to pay families directly is with regard to home education. As per the Home Education Regulation, an associate school authority must offer parents of a home education student not less than 50 per cent of the home education grant for the purchase of instructional materials. The home education grant provided to authorities is $1,670.81, meaning the reimbursement offered should not be less than $835. Parents must provide the associate school authority with receipts to show how this funding was spent, as the purpose of this reimbursement is to defray costs associated with the programs of study, instructional materials or other resources related to the home education program.

Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.

Sincerely,

Curtis Clarke, PhD

Deputy Minister of Education

June and Summer 2016 AHEA Update

On May 29, 2016, the Deputy Minister of Education announced that effective August 31, 2016, the only funding that will be made available to parents for school completed at home will be under the Home Education Regulation. This is not a result of any legislative change, but is a reflection of the legal situation which has always existed in Alberta.
Alberta Education has indicated that it will take school authorities time to determine new policies and procedures. If you have been teaching your children at home in a totally or partially school directed program, the policy around reimbursing parents for resources may be changing. Parents making plans for the 2016/17 school year should be aware of changes and possible implications.
For more information and to read the latest AHEA EAlert, please go to the below link:
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"The Minister of Education has announced, in the last few weeks, that the 2012 Education Act (passed by the legislature but not yet proclaimed) and the Regulations that fall under it, will need further review. The Minister also announced that his ministry would be undertaking a thorough curriculum review of the Alberta Program of Studies.
AHEA will be part of both of these reviews and, as always, will advocate strongly for home educators and for parental rights and freedoms."
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"Recently, there was an unprovoked and baseless attack on the reputation of AHEA and on the individuals on the board. As we have made clear repeatedly, AHEA has not and will not compromise the rights and freedoms of Alberta home educators and parents.
A handful of parents contacted AHEA to ask questions based on the misinformation and errors they had been told and we clarified things for them. As always, if you need information on anything regarding home education in Alberta, please contact us using our Contact page."

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