“The 50-50 weighting of our diploma exams doesn’t give enough credit to the hard work teachers and students do all year,” said PC leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk in an open letter to Alberta’s teachers. Rebalancing the weighting will be one of his education changes if voted in as PC leader, he pledged.
Lukaszuk also recognized that teachers across the province are purchasing supplies for classroom use without being reimbursed, and said those purchases should be tax-deductible. “We said we would do this in the 2012 election campaign, and we should stand by our word,” he said.
He also promised to resurrect a project envisioned during his days as education minister: a red-tape review for teachers. “I asked my department what work we were putting on teachers that did not need to be done, and what work could be done more efficiently. I would like to see Alberta Education continue that review, and then look to school boards to do the same,” he wrote. The goal is to enable teachers to focus on what matters most – students.
Lukaszuk also indicated that he would not change the funding ratio for private schools in the province. His children attend public school, and he said his belief is that the public system should be excellent so that it is parents’ first choice.
A video of his broader vision of the post-secondary system is available online.