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AHEA Convention 2015: Heart of the Home

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Letter to the Editor, Edmonton Journal

Letter to the Editor, Edmonton Journal, January 30 2015:

I would like to respond to the allegations made by other educators in the Journal article (“Home schooling loophole leaves some Alberta kids uneducated, critics say”, January 29 2015).

I’ll start with a clarification: when it is mentioned that home education students qualify for $1641 in funding, it should be noted that families have access to only half of that for reimbursement of educational supplies and the other half is retained by the school authority to pay for supervision of those families.
There is full accountability.

I should also note that this amount is a pittance when compared to the money spent on public education where school boards receive approximately $10,000 (yes, that’s 10 thousand dollars) per student!
You see, home education saves the Alberta government - and Alberta taxpayers - millions of dollars, but public school administrators want that money.
That’s what this is all about.

Research has shown that students are well educated whether the education is received through home education or through instruction at a congregate site:
- a large body of research shows that home educated students consistently score 15 to 30% higher on standardized tests than the average institutional learning child.
- research on Alberta congregate sites indicates student achievement is at or above grade level according to the Canadian Test of Basic Skills.

This is not anecdotal information.
AHEA has provided this research to previous Education Ministers and we are providing it again to current Minister Gordon Dirks.
We have also provided the same information to Superintendent David Steele and to the Alberta Teacher’s Association.
In fact, Mr. Steele has received confirmation from Alberta Education staff that our information is correct and further, Jeff Johnson, when he was Education Minister, did an investigation of congregate sites and found that the students there were receiving a good education.

I could cite much more research but it seems plain that those with a financial incentive choose selective deafness instead of hearing the facts.
There is no ‘loophole’ that needs to be closed here.

Thank you,

Paul van den Bosch
President
Alberta Home Education Association

January 31st Deadline: Please Respond to Draft Home Ed Regulation

E News January 29, 2015 - To all AHEA members and Alberta home educators:

The Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA) met with Education Minister Gordon Dirks on Tuesday January 27th 2015. The Minister listened to AHEA’s concerns but he did not commit to any specific action.

At this time then, the AHEA board again asks you to please submit your feedback to the draft Home Education Regulation via the government’s link and directly to the Education Minister (see links at the end of this e News).

You have only until January 31st to do so, although emails to the Minister can still be sent after this date.

1 - The key point to make is that staff of Alberta Education are defining what home education is and what it isn’t (which is what PARENTS have the authority to do) thereby reducing parental freedom and educational choice.

In order to halt this bureaucratic intrusion and ensure the continued existence of independent contracted home education specialists (ICHES), AHEA asks that the words “employed by the associate board or associate private school” be removed from Section 3.8 and Section 4.2.b of the draft regulation.

Removing these words would make clearer that such ICHES specialists are allowed under the regulation.

(A brief explanation: an ‘independent contracted home education specialist’ is an organization, such as WISDOM or Education Unlimited or THEE, which specializes in providing services and teachers to home education parents. Such ICHES specialists make home education the primary or sole focus in order to provide individualized services to home educated students.)

2 - AHEA has no concerns with the student learning outcomes in the draft regulation - they are the same as in the current regulation, but does have a question.

On May 6, 2013 Ministerial Order 001.2013 on student learning outcomes was signed: https://education.alberta.ca/media/6950988/mostudentlearning.pdf

This new order replaced Ministerial order 004/1998: https://education.alberta.ca/media/311314/422.pdf

Our question: Should the learning outcomes in the Home Education Regulation be consistent with the 2013 Ministerial Order (so that home education learning outcomes are the same as in the public system)?

3 - AHEA asks that all members and home educators respond in their own words and, in addition to the specific changes noted above, continue to focus on these issues of key importance: parental authority, less regulation, and protection of educational choice through the continued existence of independent contracted home education specialists (ICHES).

Thank you for taking the time to do this, and please continue to pray for home educators, our elected representatives, and our public servants.

Paul van den Bosch,
President
Alberta Home Education Association

To provide feedback using the Alberta Education link: http://education.alberta.ca/department/policy/education-act.aspx
Email the Minister of Education at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
To view the draft Home Education Regulation, begin on page 45: http://education.alberta.ca/media/11140412/educationact_proposedregulationsforcommentary.pdf

 

Feedback on Draft Home Education Regulation Needed

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Feedback on Draft Home Education Regulation Needed

To AHEA members and all Alberta home educators:

The Alberta government has released the draft version of the new Home Education Regulation. The Alberta Home Education Association asks that all AHEA members and all Alberta home educators voice their opinion on this draft regulation.

AHEA's concern with the draft regulation comes from what ISN'T there.

In meetings and in surveys and in town halls during the last several years, home educators made it clear that there were three key issues:

- parental authority,
- less regulation, and
- the need to protect educational choice by providing for the continued existence of independent contracted home education specialists in a new regulation.

Here is the urgent issue with the draft regulation that needs your attention:

The existence of independent contracted home education specialists is under attack from Alberta Education bureaucrats and the continued presence of these specialists needs to be clearly addressed in the draft regulation.

Educational choice is decreased when parents have less choice in who administers their home education program. Parents have the authority to make choices, but if those choices are reduced then parental authority is also reduced.

The principle of 'less regulation' was recognized in the fact that the current regulation was kept largely the same. The draft regulation will also be in place for 10 years. These are both good things, but bureaucratic intrusion needs to be halted.

AHEA has a meeting with Education Minister Gordon Dirks on Tuesday January 27, 2015 where we will be raising these key concerns. We ask all AHEA members to voice their concerns before January 27th and to also be ready to speak up again after January 27th should our concerns not be addressed.

Please make your voice heard.
Please use the links in this email to respond to the draft Home Education Regulation.
 
Thank you.
 
Paul van den Bosch
President

Alberta Home Education Association

Home educators have until January 31st to respond using the government's website link: http://education.alberta.ca/department/policy/education-act.aspx


To view the new draft Home Education Regulation, use this link to the Alberta Education website. Note that the Home Education Regulation begins on page 45.

To view the current regulation, use this link to the Alberta Queen's Printer.

"An independent contracted home education specialist is an organization, such as Wisdom or Education Unlimited, who specializes in providing services and teachers to home education parents. Such specialists focus on providing individualized services to home educated students".

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