Last week the PC party announced a number of new schools would be built in the province, schools that are long overdue. Many school boards have been asking for new schools for years, and not very many have been opened to keep up with the increasing population in Alberta. My own school board explained that our public schools are running at over 90% capacity (schools don’t usually go above 80% that way it leaves room for new students who move to the area). Finally a new school was planned to start being built next year (April 2015) but by the time it’s completed it will already be full and we’ll require another new school, in fact it’s already full now (we have several schools in our area that are overcrowded, using libraries as classrooms etc etc). This isn’t just a problem where I live, this is all over the province.
So now, let’s look at the Morinville situation. Just a few years ago only Catholic schooling was available to the residents in Morinville while the other areas had a Protestant option as well as Catholic. The parents in Morinville fought for their right to a secular education without having to bus their children to St. Albert, and won. Morinville was now included in the Sturgeon School Board, which covers numerous other communities. A public non-faith based school system was finally introduced in 2012 (prior to an actual school there were a few modulars set up to start immediate secular education), however it only goes to grade 7. After that the children still have to go to the Catholic system (or be bussed out of town) in order to finish their schooling to grade 12. As you can imagine, a new public school was asked for, one that could handle the growing demand for secular education in the area.
The announcement of schools last week was welcomed, with many areas getting 2 new schools for each district. With the exception of Morinville. Despite an obvious need for a new non-faith based public school the town instead recieved news of one new CATHOLIC school to be built. Catholic? Have they even been watching what’s going on there?
If you would like to lend your support to the campaign to bring a new secular school to Morinville and hopefully get answers as to why they were overlooked, you can sign the petition to show your support.