A failing grade for class size reduction, public funds for private schools, a turbulent trip to India and shipping Virtue and Moir
Published Friday, February 23, 2018 4:11PM MST
Our Primetime This Week Panel looks at a failing grade for class size reduction, a call to phase out public funding for private schools, Trudeau's turbulent trip to India and does shipping Virtue and Moir overshadow their achievement?
Plan to reduce class sizes in Alberta gets failing grade
Alberta's Auditor General Merwan Saher says $2.7 billion dollars has been spent on the class-size reduction initiative since 2004, but school jurisdictions aren’t meeting targets.
Since 2004, the Alberta government has spent $2.7 billion dollars on the initiative but Saher found fewer school jurisdictions are meeting class size targets in 2017 than before the plan began. The goal was to reduce class sizes to 17 kids in kindergarten to grade 3 classrooms.
Saher says the province no longer tracks how the districts spend the money. Education minister David Eggen says the government will begin looking at ways to improve the accountability and reporting of the funds.
Edmonton Public School Board seeks phase out of funding for private schools
The Edmonton Public School Board is drafting a letter for Alberta Education Minister David Eggen, asking the government to phase out public funding for private schools. It comes as the government deliberates its upcoming budget.
EPSB trustee Trisha Estabrooks brought forward the motion.
“You want to provide education to all students in Alberta, you strengthen the public education system,” said while talking to Alberta Primetime’s Michael Higgins this week. “Because let’s call it what it is – private school education is not accessible to all. Why should a system that’s not open to everyone receive public tax dollars?”
John Jagersma of the Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta says the push to defund private schools would bring more students into overcrowded public schools, which adds a cost to taxpayers.
The province spends more than $100 million each year on private schools. It includes schools covering a wide range of student needs, such as special education or cultural backgrounds or language.
Prime Minister's India trip plagued by scandal
Justin Trudeau has repeatedly been forced to address claims Canada is too soft on Sikh extremists. Then, photos emerged of his wife Sophie and Edmonton MP and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi posing with Jaspal Atwal at an event. Atwal is a Canadian Sikh convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister in the mid-1980s.
Atwal’s invitation to another event involving Trudeau was later rescinded. The MP who invited Atwal, Randeep Surai, apologized and said he should have exercised better judgement.
The scandal broke as Trudeau was set to meet with Indian prime minister Narenda Modi.
Is an imaginary relationship getting in the way of a golden achievement?
When Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the gold medal in the Olympic ice dance competition, the duo became the most decorated Olympic figure skaters. Throughout the competition, questions swirled about whether or not the skaters were actually a couple based on their on-ice chemistry. Those questions dominated social media.
“Relationship status is none of your business,” Moir told reporters in a post-win media conference.
If nothing else, that comment may have fueled speculation even more. Romantic fan fiction works about Virtue and Moir can be found all over the internet.
This week our Primetime This Week Panel is made up of: Emma Graney, Edmonton Journal political reporter; Helen Pike, Metro Calgary reporter and Tristin Hopper, National Post reporter.