EDMONTON, AB (October 31, 2012): The PC government has chosen partisan politics over listening to teachers, parents and students by voting to uphold mandatory school fees and the deeply unpopular no-zero policy, Wildrose Education Critic Bruce McAllister said today.
PC MLAs voted last night against McAllister’s amendments to Bill 3 – the Education Act – that would have ended mandatory school fees and given teachers the freedom to assign zeros to students for work not submitted. “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t come together as MLAs and put an end to these nonsensical policies,” McAllister said. “The teachers, parents and students who I talk to and who have contacted my office couldn’t be more clear: They wanted both of these policies scrapped. It’s too bad that the PCs chose partisan politics over getting things done for Albertans.” McAllister’s no-zero amendment, which would have ensured “that teachers are free to assign grades of zero for work not submitted by students,” was inspired by Edmonton high school teacher Lynden Dorval, who was fired after giving a zero to one of his students. Ending mandatory school fees would have saved Alberta families an average of $100 a year for every school-aged child. McAllister said parents shouldn’t have to cut their child’s school a cheque every September just so they can attend class. “These fees are nickel and diming Alberta families,” McAllister said. “Again, it’s unfortunate that the PCs couldn’t look beyond partisan politics and agree to give Alberta families a break.”