Regarding: Morinville parent writes letter to premier Redford (Morinville’s Monday Morning News, Dec. 12, 2011)
Ms. Buga expresses considerable dissatisfaction with the present arrangement for schooling provided by Sturgeon School Division which “does not come close to being an acceptable solution”. Really? In addition to countless hours of administrative and trustee time expended, thousands of dollars for consultant and legal fees, staff salaries and facility rentals, have already been spent for the benefit of very few students in an attempt to accommodate the demands of the parents for whom Ms Buga, one assumes, speaks. And much more of both time and money will be required if Ms. Buga’s further demand for a stand-alone school is to be met. The taxpayer may well be resentful and wonder if all of that effort and money might not have been spent to better effect in addressing the urgent educational needs of other students in already existing schools elsewhere in Alberta.
Further, she demands “access to a genuine public school without religious permeation in our community, with the right to vote for a genuine public board who will represent us.”
Our Alberta public schools are already genuine.
All the legislation governing public schools in Alberta, from the Northwest Territories Act of 1875 onward, provides for the formation of public school districts, Protestant or Catholic. There is no reference to secular schools. With time, the Protestant designation has been gradually dropped, although, until perhaps only a generation or two ago, many non-Catholic public schools retained the tradition of daily prayer and other occasional religious exercises as had all schools originally. And, as clearly authorized by the School Act, these practices continue in some non-Catholic public schools today.
As to the right to vote, as a resident of a public board where there is no separate board Ms. Buga already has that right.
The changes that Ms. Buga feels are her right may some day occur, but it won’t be soon. In the meantime, if she is as thoroughly displeased with the schooling presently provided to her children as the tone of her letter suggests, she has choice. She can choose to drive or to avail herself of the transportation available through a yellow bus headed to a school which would provide her with much of what she wishes. Namao, Riviere Qui Barre, Bon Accord, St. Albert Protestant, all have excellent schools, none more than twenty minutes away. She can also choose to reconsider the Morinville schools. With a higher than 90% parent satisfaction rating in the latest parent survey, these schools must have a lot to offer, and with a little bit of tolerance and understanding on the part of the parent, might meet Ms Buga’s children’s educational needs surprisingly well. Or, a more likely choice, she can choose to stay with what is now in place and be content. In that event, if an apology and a thank-you to Sturgeon and Greater St. Albert Catholic administration, trustees and the taxpayer is too much to expect, at least an expression of gratitude for what is being provided would seem to be in order.