Newsletter -- January 25th

1. ACTION: Millions of taxpayer dollars at stake as Catholic trustees scuttle shared bus services.

2. ACTION: Does your public school trustee stand up for Public schools?

3. ACTION: Complete the Budget 2018 survey and say "NO" to outrageous superintendent salaries

4. INFORMATION: A Catholic trustee shows value in merging school boards

5. INFORMATION: Did you know Catholic schools are operating inside of Public schools?

6. EVENT: Debate: Do we need a Catholic school system? (5:30PM, Thursday, February 8th)


1. ACTION: Millions of taxpayer dollars at stake as Catholic Trustees scuttle shared bus services.

The Edmonton Journal Editorial Board, the Minister of Education and Edmonton Trustees are all urging the Catholic Trustees to sign a bus deal that would save the boards $2.5 million to $2.7 million annually by combining half-empty buses driving the same routes to public and Catholic schools metres apart. More importantly, harmonizing the system would replace the time kids need to spend riding the bus with time better spent at home and in the classroom.

But the Catholic Trustees are "demanding respect" and don't want to sign the deal. It is entirely possible to believe in a future vision for Education where there are no Catholic school boards, but until then, operating as efficiently as possible.

Send an email to Education Minister David Eggen demanding that he legislate the bus deal now and save taxpayers millions of dollars ([email protected]) Give him a phone call, and urge him to make sure the first school built in any community should be a Public school.

2. ACTION: Does your public school trustee stand up for Public schools?

In this segment of the newsletter, we invite your submissions: where does your public school trustee stand on the issue of separate Catholic schools? Please email your trustee and urge them to speak out. As advocates we need our trustees to be joining us in loudly speaking out to move the discourse where our provincial MLAs can have the courage to act. 

Have you heard of the Overton window? It's the range of policies considered politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, which a politician can recommend without being considered too extreme to gain or keep public office.

For example, In May 2017, Dianne Macauley of Red Deer Catholic courageously moved a motion at her board calling for amalgamation of Public and Catholic School Boards. She was handidly re-elected as public trustee in the October 2017 election.

Take action! Here's an email from one of our members who emailed his trustee in October during the election:

Inquiry to Public School Trustee:
On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 9:51 PM Kenn Bur <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Nathan.

We received your election material in the mail today.  While we support the priorities you mention, we were disappointed you had no mention of your position on one public school system even though this is the No. 1 public priority of the Alberta Public School Association.

The reality is that Alberta can no longer afford to subsidize a duplicate, faith-based school system.  And beyond simple economics, a system of religious entitlement is repugnant.
 But until our public trustees begin speaking out on this elephant-in-the-room issue, there simply won’t be funding to sustainably achieve the priorities you have noted.

So, if you want our family’s votes, please clearly advise what you will practically do over the next four years to publicly support one public school system in Alberta?


Kenn Bur

Here's the type of no-nonsense, pragmatic, and economically sensible leadership that we need from ALL Public trustees in Alberta:

Response from Trustee Nathan IP:

On Oct 15, 2017, at 9:42 AM, Nathan Ip <> wrote:

Hello Ken,

Thank you for your email. I do in fact support one public school system. I feel that we no longer have a need for a separate school system and that it is an antiquated relic of confederation. A catholic program of choice can easily be accommodated within Edmonton Public Schools as we have other faith based programs available. As epsb's representative to the Public School Boards Association of Alberta, this was an issue I had brought up previously. 

With one system, we would save millions of dollars that can go back into the classroom. If re-elected, I will introduce a motion at public board to ask the provincial government to pass legislation to almagamate both systems into one public system. Only the province would be able to take action on this issue, but I will certainly strongly advocate for change. 

I hope this gives you a sense of where I stand. 


Feel free to copy Kenn's email and send it to your own school trustee. Send us their response!

3. ACTION: Complete the Budget 2018 survey and say "NO" to outrageous superintendent salaries

Do we need separate Catholic school boards? Let the Finance Minister know (survey).
Written submissions: [email protected]. The deadline for feedback is February 9, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
Some suggestions might be referencing the waste of duplicate school boards or, the Edmonton Catholic school board decision to re-hire their Superintendent till 2020 at a whopping $426,824.00 per year-- the highest paid in Alberta. APUPIL put out a press release condemning her and calling on Minister Eggen to reject her contact:
An APUPIL analysis of Superintendent Salaries revealed that Joan Carr’s $10 Salary per student triples that of Edmonton Public Schools and Calgary Public Schools ($3 per student) and is the highest in Alberta and far outpaces the Minister of Education, Deputy Minister of Education, Premier Notley, Mayor Nenshi, or Mayor Iveson.

4. INFORMATION: A Catholic trustee shows value in merging school boards

Vice President of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association Paul Bourassa might have unknowingly highlighted the redundancy of the 17 separate Catholic school boards when he highlighted that Francophone boards run both Catholic and Public programs.

" FrancoSud, we are a merged board wherein the Catholic Francophone and the Public Francophone, and our administration work together continually to find efficiencies to ensure students are our highest priority.  As found FrancoSud’s website: Conseil scolaire FrancoSud has close to 3,300 students attending fourtheen francophone schools in southern Alberta and offering educational programs from kindergarten to Grade 12. Ten of our schools are Public and four are Catholic. (link)

He's right. Education is being delivered without separate Catholic school boards already in Alberta. Eliminating the separate school Catholic school trustees and superintendents could save million annually. Sign our petition for a referendum.

5. INFORMATION: Did you know Catholic schools are operating inside of Public schools?

"Did you know in Edmonton there is a Catholic school operating inside a wing of a Public School? Shared bus routes could be just the beginning of massive cost savings and collaboration." Read more:

Remember, David King and ourIDEA called for a moratorium on the construction of new Catholic schools for this exact reason. Sign our petition that the first school built in any community should be a public school

6. EVENT: Debate: Do we need a Catholic school system? (5:30PM, Thursday, February 8th)



Alberta Should Have One Public School System Not Two

For the Motion:
David King
ormer Minister of Education and Executive Director of the Public School Boards' Association of Alberta

Against the Motion:
JK Donlevy 
Professor, University of Calgary Werklund School of Education

Thursday, February 8, 2018 
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
TELUS Centre - Auditorium (Rm 150)
University of Alberta (87 Ave & 111 St)

Join us for a spirited debate on whether Alberta should change its dual school system of public and separate schools to one public school system. What are the constitutional considerations? 

This event is free and open to the public. 

Register Here (to help us estimate attendance) 

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