Although the earliest schools in Canada were religious, public education has been dominant for much of our history. But, as in other sectors, the private sector has been encroaching in the public domain. What has been happening to the funding of public education and is its quality under threat?

Former Alberta Education Minister, David King, argues that public school education is unlike any other social system for three reasons: It is inclusive as a matter of conviction and by design; and it is a deliberate model of a civil democratic community. It is also an “organic” life-system of the community in which it works, and so it cannot be understood apart from the community in which it functions.

These characteristics, says David King, are vital to the community, both in terms of the quality of education, and the well-being of the community. He also believes that the local self-government of education is of vital interest to the community.

Speaker: David King

David King is a politician and public education policy activist. He is a former Progressive Conservative Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. He was Alberta’s Minister of Education from 1979 to 1986. Since 1990, Mr. King has served as Executive Director of the Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta. He holds a B.A in Political Science and History from the University of Alberta.

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