Alberta Moves To Further Parents’ Educational Choices, Progressives Outraged

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Christian families of Alberta, Canada enjoyed a major win last week when the province’s education minister bucked against an attempt to eradicate religious schools that fail to make room for progressivism.

According to LifeSiteNews’ Jonathon Van Maren, Bill 15, the Choice in Education Act, was introduced last Thursday by Adriana LaGrange. The bill, Van Maren says, appears to be a response to attempts by former premier Rachel Notley and her education minister David Eggen to shut down such conservative religious schools.

The legislation “enshrines the belief of Albertans in freedom, diversity, pluralism and choice as well as parental responsibility,” said Premier Jason Kenney,” because we believe that parents know better than politicians or bureaucrats about what’s in the best interests of their kids.”

The bill also stems from an election promise made by LaGrange to protect the rights of homeschooling families and religious charter schools she felt “were not valued or threatened under the previous government.”

LaGrange wasn’t exaggerating. Over twenty schools would have found themselves on the chopping block of Education Minister David Eggen if Jason Kenney had not defeated Rachel Notley in the premier race.

This incredible success, Van Maren says, came about only because “Christian communities had politically mobilized in an unprecedented fashion to fend off the threat to their right to educate their children according to the tenets of their faith.”

According to the CBC, the bill would make no changes to private school funding and would allow those seeking to set up a school to “go directly to the minister,” at which point the Department of Education would ensure the proper consultation:

In addition to these changes, there are also a number of smaller changes, including two additions to the preamble — the introductory part of the statute. The first would add a new whereas statement to the act: “whereas parents have the a priori right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children” — which is also the language used in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The second addition recognizes all of Alberta’s current choices in education as “valued and as integral” in providing choice in education to students and parents. Included on this list are public schools, separate schools, Francophone schools, private schools, charter schools, early childhood services programs and home education programs.

This is a tremendous win for Alberta families!

Van Maren points out just how easy it is to forget the brazen attacks by the NDP on religious schools. At one point, he reports, the party went so far as to object to the following statement in one school’s “Safe and Caring” policy: “We believe men and women were created in the image of God, after His likeness, and therefore have transcendent, intrinsic worth.”

The NDP cried foul over that verbiage, claiming it violated the School Act because it was allegedly “unwelcoming, uncaring and/or disrespectful.”

Predictably, news of the Choice in Education Act brought out the worst in provincial leftists.

Gil McGowan, the President of the Alberta Federation of Labour, claimed that the bill “paves the way for nutbar religious charter schools & homeschooling that doesn’t follow the curriculum. They’re trying to create an army of brainwashed right-wing warriors. And they accused the NDP of being too political with education!”

 

“I’m glad McGowan went off the way he did, because he is saying precisely what he and his fellow ideologues think,” Van Maren stated. “That Christian, Sikh, Muslim, and Jewish parents do not have the right to educate their children in their own beliefs because they are ‘religious nutbars.'”

“McGowan, like most progressives, sees homeschooling and religious schools as a threat to his ability to control and shape the minds of your children,” Van Maren concluded. “His children, if he has any, can go to whichever school he chooses. But that isn’t enough for dangerous, spiteful little men like him. He needs to know that your children are being taught what he believes. And why is that? Because you’re a crazy religious nutbar, that’s why.”

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