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28 Alberta schools not meeting GSA requirements will lose funding next year

Alberta’s education minister said 28 out of 94 accredited, funded private schools haven’t met the requirements under Bill 24, that allow students who wish to set up a gay-straight alliance the ability to do so.

David Eggen said that affects about 4,000 students.

Eggen has now issued policies for those schools under a ministerial order.

The non-compliant schools must post the policies on their websites by June 30, 2019. If they don’t, Eggen says they’ll lose their taxpayer funding for the next school year.

“I sincerely hope that we will not need to take this step,” he said. “But I have been clear: Following this law is not optional.”

“Ensuring vulnerable children feel safe and included at school is not optional. Not in today’s Alberta. And not when you receive as much as 70 per cent of your funding from taxpayers, as private schools in our province do.”

“I am pleased to report that all public, separate, francophone and charter school authorities have policies that are compliant with the legislation,” Eggen said.

“This means over 98 per cent of kindergarten to Grade 12 students in Alberta are currently protected under compliant policies.

“Our goal from Day 1 has been to ensure that each and every student has a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging – and we have made great strides toward this goal.”

Two months ago, the province gave non-compliant schools a similar ultimatum.

This time around, Eggen stressed schools that don’t follow the law will lose their funding.

The June deadline was chosen to ensure schools aren’t shut down in the middle of the school year, Eggen said.

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