Dianne Macaulay is a long-time Trustee with the Red Deer Public School District. We have reprinted, below, an open letter that Dianne is distributing. As the letter indicates, on Wednesday evening, April 12th, she gave Notice of her intention to move the motion set out in her open letter.
The initial response from the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association is interesting.
Quoting from the Global News story -- ACSTA President Adriana LaGrange said in early April. “The only way to save taxpayer money would be if all 175,000 students simply stop having access to education altogether.”
The best aim of unification would be to re-direct money away from duplication of ‘back-office’ costs (such as administration, transportation, and maintenance), marketing, and fragmentation, toward improved classroom service and broader access for students to a wider range of programs. The aim is not to ‘save’ money: the aim is to make the best possible use of limited money. In education, money well-used is not a cost: it is a very wise investment.
Universal access and inclusion dictate that all the students currently being educated in separate schools would continue in school – in schools under one umbrella. All the teachers currently working in separate schools would continue to be teaching – in schools under one umbrella.
And, of course, there would be other advantages. An upcoming post on this site will address the video that was recently screened in a Red Deer Catholic Separate school, making comparison to the Holocaust.
Perhaps – hopefully – other public school jurisdictions will find their own way to join and encourage the conversation.
Dianne Macaulay’s open letter
“To the citizens of Alberta :
I have had many conversations with the community and my colleagues over the education system in Alberta since I have become a Trustee. I have a passion for education and doing what is best for students. One of the most dominant and thoughtful conversations have been around “How can we improve our system”?
I support choice within public school districts. All Alberta taxpayers pay for public education in this province and yet we have two school systems that are only for students of one religion.
I want to promote a conversation about the unification of separate with public school boards that will focus on only the issues.
At the Board meeting of the Red Deer Public School District on April 12 –
Dianne Macaulay gave notice of motion for ....
The Red Deer Public board of Trustees advocate for a unified Public School system that allows for Locally elected school boards to offer Catholic programs as well as other faith and program options
It is important to note that this initiative does not call for the abolition of Catholic programs in Alberta, but rather contemplates the potential for public school boards to grow and expand faith program offerings. This is no different than Red Deer Public operating French Immersion programs which do not challenge the existence of the constitutionally protected Francophone School boards. The Red Deer Public School Board supports programs of choice where there is a demand and if anything this would mean more choice, not less! While we are engaged in a dialogue on curriculum redesign, maybe it’s time to have the bigger question about program or system redesign. To be clear, this is the vision of one trustee until a formal vote is taken at the Board table on May 10