January 17, 2017
Education Governance Review in Saskatchewan: Have your say!
The Government of Saskatchewan has undertaken a K-12 Education Governance Review. See this link to obtain their report of the same name.
The governance review is an attempt to ensure accountability and efficiency in the realm of education. The province has requested input from the public. However, the window of opportunity to participate is very narrow. Moreover, we are concerned that the review does not once mention home education. If we do nothing then presumably no changes are on the horizon for homeschoolers. However, this is an opportunity to have our voice heard in a positive light.
The link above includes an email to send thoughts and comments (K12govconsultations@gov.sk.ca). There is also an online means of giving input (be aware that those submissions will be posted publicly). The deadline is January 23, 2017.
SHBE & HSLDA submission to the Government of Saskatchewan
SHBE has joined with HSLDA to make a submission as part of the feedback process, focussed primarily on maintaining and enhancing parental freedom to home educate and secondarily on improving the governance such that it is more transparent and accountable, with adequate participation by home educators. We will post our submission as soon as it is available.
The following is taken from the SHBE communication:
“SHBE is taking this opportunity to provide parents with a sketch of home educational rights, the current regulatory framework in Saskatchewan, the governance and administration model as it is today, and what SHBE is doing to address shortcomings in the current system.
1. Foundation of Home Based Education in Saskatchewan
SHBE holds that parents have the foremost right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. We believe it follows logically that parents are the default educators for their children. While other parents delegate some or all of those duties to provincial, religious or private institutions, home educators have opted instead to exercise their responsibilities directly.
2. Regulatory Framework simplified and explained concisely
In Saskatchewan, parents notify the province of their intent to homeschool. The province appoints a “registering authority” to input data into a provincial registration system. The province’s current registering authorities are public or separate school divisions or conseil scolaires. It is important to note that registering authorities are not to provide consent for parents to educate their children; they simply acknowledge that the paperwork provided by home educators is in compliance with provincial regulations.
3. Current Home Based Education Governance and Administration
The province provides funding to each registering authority for administration of provincial home education regulations, and also to provide supports and services to home educators. Although neither the school divisions nor ministry of education will provide us with the amount of this funding, our very conservative estimate is that it is over $7 million annually. School divisions have not been transparent or accountable to parents or home educators for the funding provided by the province for home educated students.”
1) That SHBE and HSLDA be counted as stakeholders in these discussions;
2) That the province appoint registering authorities who are accountable to home educators for their use of provincial funding provided to support home educated students; and
3) That any governance model be transparent and include the participation of home educators.
In all of these communications, HSLDA asks that you continue to be congenial and considerate in how you interact with your local school division or conseil scolaire. Remember, you have the primary responsibility to education your children; enjoy that right! We are here to support you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.