Local ATA lays out Stand for Education campaign for EIPS

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Teachers and educators are set to continue their campaign to build stronger public education in Alberta. 

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Deneen Zielke, president of Elk Island Local 28, the local chapter of the Alberta Teachers Association, told the Elk Island Public Schools board of trustees meeting the group has a three-phase engagement campaign underway. 

“The campaign is called Stand for Education and all the information about upcoming activities are located at standforeducation.ca,” Zielke told the board during her report at the Thursday, Nov. 17 EIPS meeting. 

“Phase one was the kick-off rally to Stand for Education at the Alberta legislature on Oct. 22, which was a great success,” Zielke said. “It brought together parents, grandparents, teachers, retired teachers, trustees and many more to bring attention to shared concerns in the ongoing campaign.”

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Zielke told the board that the next phases would involve input from the public. 

“On Nov. 6, I attended a political engagement conference at Barnett House (ATA headquarters) and was informed of phase two of the association’s plan. It consists of public roundtable discussions to set a goal and hopeful vision for public education in Alberta,” Zielke said. “The ATA will be hosting four large in person roundtable discussions across the province.”

The first of these will be held at Barnett House on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

“There will be time built in at the beginning and end for socializing but the discussions will have a hard start of 7 p.m. and end at 8 p.m.,” Zielke said. “Participants are being invited from the business community, parents, teachers, and a broad other category of superintendents or school board members but MLAs or candidates of political parties are not invited to participate.”

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The event has a limit of 150 participants who must register at standforeducation.ca. 

After the sessions are held, the data will be used to build a plan. 

“Data from across the province will be collated and shared through a number of communication channels. By sharing what Albertans envision for a strong public education system, we hope to make these values a key political topic as we approach a spring provincial election,” Zielke told the board. 

The local ATA representative said the chapter is looking at holding one of these roundtables in Strathcona County, but no date has been set. 

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