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Home Education Regulation and Other Legislation

Home Education Regulation and Other Legislation

Published: 02/25/2015 by Patty Marler on behalf of the Alberta Home Education Association

» Current Affairs

Over the past four years, the Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA) has worked to provide input into the formation of the Education Act and the Home Education Regulation – the legislation that governs how home education functions in Alberta. The combined efforts of AHEA, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), and home educators at large continue to be crucial in maintaining parental authority in home education. 


A draft of the Home Education Regulation was made available online in December 2014. The draft regulation is nearly identical to the current regulation and will be in effect for 10 years. 


On July 2, 2014, Lifesite News reported that, “the Scottish Parliament passed (a law) in February that mandates the government to appoint a state official for every child from birth to age 18, regardless of the child’s or the family’s perceived need for public intervention.” 


It goes on to say, “While the government insists that the bill which takes effect August 2016, is only a way to make public services more available and efficient, it has come under heavy criticism from legal experts who have said it is a grave violation of the legally guaranteed human rights of parents and families.” 

 

The principle of parents making decisions for their children has, in Canada, never been questioned. But as we see from Scotland, it can be challenged. 


The Home Education Regulation was not the only legislation affecting education and parental authority that was proposed in the fall of 2014. Bill 202: Safe and Inclusive Schools Statute Amendment Act was proposed. While it was suggested by its sponsor, Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman, that this legislation would make for inclusive schools, an article on the Parent’s for Choice in Education website at www.parentchoice.ca states, “Relatively little mention has been made – in either media reports or in the Legislature itself – of the fact that Bill 202 represents a direct attack on parental rights.” 

 

Another post on the website states “... should this Bill (202) pass, it would severely limit parental freedoms and choice in areas of school programming, school clubs and organizations, and very importantly, parental decisions for their children.” 

 

A different piece of legislation, Bill 10: An Act to Amend The Alberta Bill of Rights to Protect Our Children, was then brought forward by the governing Progressive Conservative Party. Relative to parental authority, it proposed the opposite of Bill 202. The current status of these bills is in limbo. There is a chance that significant parental authority could be lost and the potential to have the right and responsibility of parents to make educational decisions for their children enshrined in legislation. 


In 2013, the Alberta Legislature passed the Children First Act. In this piece of legislation, the Minister of Human Services was instructed to write a “Children’s Charter.” The Act indicates that this document would then “guide the Government of Alberta and its departments in the development of policies, programs and services affecting children...” In 2014, under the banner of “Together We Raise Tomorrow,” Albertans had the opportunity to provide input into that process. As of the writing of this article, the charter had not yet been released to the public.