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Minister Hancock’s Invitation

From: Education Minister <Education.Minister@gov.ab.ca>
Date: September 17, 2009 1:10:55 PM MDT
Subject: School Act Review

To       Presidents
Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association
Alberta School Boards Association
Alberta School Business Officials of Alberta
Alberta School Councils’ Association
Alberta Teachers’ Association
Association of Alberta Deans of Education
Association of Alberta Public Charter Schools
Association of Independent Schools and Colleges of Alberta
College of Alberta School Superintendents
Federation des conseils scolaires francophone de ľ Alberta
First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium
Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta

As you know, we are preparing for the possible introduction of a replacement for the current School Act in the spring sitting of the Legislative Assembly.  I would like to invite your organization’s involvement in preparing this new legislation.

While every education stakeholder organization has certain unique interests and desires, I believe that revisions to the School Act are another opportunity to build cohesion within the education sector.  I would like to invite you to participate in a stakeholder committee to give advice to government on the new legislation. (our emphasis added)

I encourage you, where possible, to send as your representative to this committee the same person who is your representative on the Inspiring Education working committee.  As the process for new legislation runs concurrent with the Inspiring Education process, it is essential that the new legislation aligns with the long-term vision and frameworks for policy and governance being developed through Inspiring Education.  MLA representatives from the Inspiring Education steering committee will attend meetings, as schedules permit, in an observer role.

I expect that this informal stakeholder committee will be able to find a great deal of common direction and rationale in making recommendations on the new Act.

The new legislation is intended to be an enabling, overarching framework for the broad governance structures of the education system.  As such, I do not expect it to be prescriptive or restrictive except where deemed absolutely necessary.  Many of the rules in the current legislation may properly belong in regulation, on which there will be further consultation once the new legislation is passed.

Given the short timelines needed to prepare legislation for the spring, I would like to receive the committee’s report by October 30.  While I understand this is a short timeline, particularly at a busy time for all of us, my intention to introduce new legislation has been well known for over a year, and I am sure you have already put considerable thought into what you believe needs to be in the new Act.

Additional submissions are welcome and all submissions received, will be made public.

Alberta Education will support this committee by coordinating meeting arrangements.  To confirm your desire to be a part of this process, or to address any questions or concerns, please contactMaureen Towns, Director, Legislative Services at (780) 415-8525.  Toll free by dialing 310-0000.

Yours truly,

Dave Hancock, Q.C.
Minister

Cc: Executive Directors of Stakeholder Associations

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