Return Control of Education to Individual Albertans
The relationship between a family and their school is very important - it is unique and special.
Parents entrust their children to the judgement of professionals in the school board. It is important this special relationship between children, parents, teachers and administrators is not perceived to be influenced by third parties.
Therefore, we petition the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to pass legislation to:
- Prohibit donations by corporations, political action committees, trade unions or employee organizations to candidates in municipal trustee elections.
- Prohibit third party advertising in municipal trustee elections.
It is critical the Alberta government acknowledge it is parents and individual members of the public who determine who should be elected to school trustee – without interference from well financed special interest groups.
We ask them to recognize the importance these changes to election finance law be made before the October 2017 election to ensure critical trust in education is maintained.
There has been a growing trend in special interest groups financing trustee campaigns. For example, the last trustee elected in Calgary was in a 2015 by-election. An unprecedented $19,000 was contributed by union groups to the winning campaign. This was a significant increase over any previous year’s campaign, and was more than double the total amount raised by the next closest campaign.
Significant funds are available to corporations, unions and political action committees. A review of Calgary Board of Education’s financial statements reveals $12.7 million is collected annually by their unions – something no parent or individual can compete with. Companies also have significant funds to donate. School boards have large budgets and regularly use third parties for goods and services, and it is important there be confidence in the arms-length nature of these transactions. While we appreciate donors have the best of intentions, it is more important education is perceived to be free from special interest group influence.
Education belongs in the hands of parents and the public. Sign our petition now to ensure it stays that way.