Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Alberta Education shuts down private Christian school in Cold Lake Alberta Education has shut down a private Christian school in Cold Lake following an audit that found questionable spending and conflicts of interest.---------------Julie Ali Curious that the minister seems to have taken action here but not in the case of the school with the intransigence with reference to LGBTQ folks. He seems to be rather firm where money is being used inappropriately but not when schools are not compliant with ministerial directions regarding LGBTQ children. So odd. One law appears to be more important than another law. http://www.cbc.ca/.../alberta-education-shuts-down... "We will pursue our public funds which meant for these students, most aggressively, to ensure that we have those returned. "http://www.cbc.ca/.../two-private-schools-won-t-comply... Earlier this year, Education Minister David Eggen instructed boards to submit LGBTQ draft policies by the end of March. Some boards resisted, and in the case of the Edmonton Catholic School Board, Eggen appointed a consultant to help shape its new transgender policy. "I'm not going to allow the minister of education to appoint anyone to come in here — he does not have that dictatorial power," said Coldwell, whose board receives between 60 and 70 per cent of its instructional funding from the province. In a statement, Eggen said his ministry would begin working closely with private school authorities on their policies. "All schools are required to follow the law," he said. But he did not address CBC's question of whether non-compliant boards would face consequences.--


Two private schools won't comply with Alberta LGBTQ policy, says pastor

'There's a big difference between protecting students and the promotion of a lifestyle'

By Andrea Huncar, CBC News Posted: Aug 30, 2016 2:30 AM MT Last Updated: Aug 30, 2016 11:32 AM MT
Pastor Brian Coldwell, chair of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society, says new LGBTQ policy requirements don't respect religious and parental rights.
Pastor Brian Coldwell, chair of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society, says new LGBTQ policy requirements don't respect religious and parental rights.
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A Spruce Grove pastor who oversees two Christian private schools has accused Alberta's education minister of wielding "dictatorial power" on the issue of LGBTQ rights, and says his board has no intention of complying with the government's new policy.
"I have a duty as a pastor to protect the flock of God," said pastor Brian Coldwell, chair of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society, which runs two schools in rural Parkland County with a total of 200 students. "And there is no way under heaven I'm going to allow gay activists to come in here and basically undermine our ministries and our religious freedoms or confuse and corrupt our children."
Earlier this year, Education Minister David Eggen instructed boards to submit LGBTQ draft policies by the end of March. Some boards resisted, and in the case of the Edmonton Catholic School Board, Eggen appointed a consultant to help shape its new transgender policy.
"I'm not going to allow the minister of education to appoint anyone to come in here — he does not have that dictatorial power," said Coldwell, whose board receives between 60 and 70 per cent of its instructional funding from the province.

Schools will respect your rights: minister

Two weeks ago, Eggen followed up his instructions to boards when he posted an open letter to Alberta students, telling them "you have rights that your schools will respect."
"You have the right to create a gay-straight alliance or a queer-straight alliance, and you have the right to name your clubs this way," Eggen wrote. "You have the right to use the washroom that is consistent with your gender identity."
He provided an email to contact his staff "who can help you ensure your rights are being respected."
Coldwell said students who don't agree with his board's conservative Christian values could attend other schools.
"We're not saying that the gay community doesn't have any rights," he said. "But they just don't have the right to come in here and push their agenda, or what you might call the rainbow ideology.
"There's a big difference between protecting students and the promotion of a lifestyle."

Counselling for LGBTQ students

Coldwell said his boards' two schools, Meadows Baptist Academy and Harvest Baptist Academy, have a zero tolerance for bullying but LGBTQ issues rarely arise. He said if a student came looking for help they would use the gospel and Christian counseling.
"There's many people that have been delivered from that type of lifestyle through the power of the gospel," said Coldwell.
In a statement, Eggen said his ministry would begin working closely with private school authorities on their policies.
"All schools are required to follow the law," he said. But he did not address CBC's question of whether non-compliant boards would face consequences.
Coldwell criticized the government, saying it has never properly consulted with religious school boards. He said he knows of at least a dozen other boards that feel the same way and he thinks "there's multitudes of other parents and other churches that will stand up."
He said the legislation should be amended to also protect the rights of parents and religious institutions, exempting their schools from GSAs that promote "the anti-Christian gay lifestyle."

@andreahuncar   andrea.huncar@cbc.ca


Alberta Education shuts down private Christian school in Cold Lake

'The information provided through this review was alarming,' David Eggen says

CBC News Posted: Oct 25, 2016 8:55 PM MT Last Updated: Oct 25, 2016 8:55 PM MT
Education Minster David Eggen says the results of an audit showed that $988,000 over the last three years was not dispersed to homeschooling families in Cold Lake.
Education Minster David Eggen says the results of an audit showed that $988,000 over the last three years was not dispersed to homeschooling families in Cold Lake.
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Alberta Education has shut down a private Christian school in Cold Lake following an audit that found questionable spending and conflicts of interest.
Trinity Christian School Association, which received more than $5.6 million in Alberta Education funding for the current school year, has lost its registration and accreditation effective immediately, the government announced Tuesday.
In a letter to Trinity's board chair Tuesday, Alberta Education said the decision was made because Trinity "has failed to appropriately supervise its home education program" and "has failed to demonstrate accountability for funding received from the government of Alberta."
An audit found that public funding from Trinity Christian School Association was directed to a third party, Wisdom Home Schooling Society, even though Wisdom had "no relationship" with Alberta Education.
In 2014/2015, Wisdom spent $5.2 million, or 90 per cent, of all the home-education grant funding that had gone to Trinity, the audit found.
Wisdom was also found to have retained $988,000 in unclaimed parent funding over the past three years.
"The information provided through this review was alarming," Education Minister Dave Eggen told a news conference.

'Grave concern'

He said it was of "grave concern" that Wisdom had retained nearly $1 million in unclaimed parent funding even though it was not the grant recipient.
"We will pursue our public funds which meant for these students, most aggressively, to ensure that we have those returned."
Alberta Education said it will provide the findings of its financial review to the Canada Revenue Agency and to the RCMP so those agencies can determine if further investigation is warranted.
Trinity School
Trinity Catholic School in Cold Lake, Alberta has been shut down by Alberta Education. (http://www.trinitychristian.ca/about-us/)
The closure of the Trinity Christian School Association will affect 13 classroom students and another 3,500 home-schooled students -- about 30 per cent of all home-schooled children in Alberta, Eggen said.
Parents have been informed and Alberta Education will help students register with other public or private school authorities.

Conflict of interest issues

The audit found conflict-of-interest issues involving senior management and related-party transactions, including terms of employment contracts and terms of leases with related parties, the government said.
It also uncovered inappropriate expenses, such as for babysitting, funeral costs and "double dipping" for mileage claims.
Eggen said he was first informed of potential issues in July.
"After contact with Trinity, we were not getting satisfactory results so we sent on-site auditing into the Cold Lake area," he said.
"The review indicated that some government funds were being used to purchase liquor, gift cards, expenses related to baby-sitting and funeral arrangements as well."

Two families in charge

The boards and administration of Trinity Christian School Association and the Wisdom Home Schooling Society were largely represented by two families.
The government review found family members approved employment contracts for other family members. The total amount paid in salary to these two families is more than $2.76 million in the last three years.
The audit found Trinity and Wisdom spent 32 per cent of their expenses on office and administration compared to 3.4 to 5.6 per cent in public boards..
The review found Wisdom leased two spaces, one at a cost of $105,000 a year, a rate nearly 10 times what was felt was reasonable.
The second facility was constructed using $500,000 in government paid to Trinity, then sold by Trinity to a foundation which then leased it back to Wisdom.
The review found 90 per cent of spending of the public money given to Trinity was spent by the home schooling society.
With files from Emily Fitzpatrick and Michelle Bellefontaine







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Alberta Education shuts down private Christian school in Cold Lake
Alberta Education has shut down a private Christian school in Cold Lake following an audit that found questionable spending and conflicts of interest.
CBC.CA
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Julie Ali
Julie Ali Curious that the minister seems to have taken action here but not in the case of the school with the intransigence with reference to LGBTQ folks. He seems to be rather firm where money is being used inappropriately but not when schools are not compliant with ministerial directions regarding LGBTQ children. So odd. One law appears to be more important than another law. http://www.cbc.ca/.../alberta-education-shuts-down... "We will pursue our public funds which meant for these students, most aggressively, to ensure that we have those returned. "http://www.cbc.ca/.../two-private-schools-won-t-comply... Earlier this year, Education Minister David Eggen instructed boards to submit LGBTQ draft policies by the end of March. Some boards resisted, and in the case of the Edmonton Catholic School Board, Eggen appointed a consultant to help shape its new transgender policy.

"I'm not going to allow the minister of education to appoint anyone to come in here — he does not have that dictatorial power," said Coldwell, whose board receives between 60 and 70 per cent of its instructional funding from the province. In a statement, Eggen said his ministry would begin working closely with private school authorities on their policies.

"All schools are required to follow the law," he said. But he did not address CBC's question of whether non-compliant boards would face consequences.

Alberta Education shuts down private Christian school in Cold Lake
CBC.CA
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Alberta Education has shut down a private Christian school in Cold Lake following an audit that found questionable spending and conflicts of interest.
CBC.CA




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Julie Ali Curious that the minister seems to have taken action here but not in the case of the school with the intransigence with reference to LGBTQ folks. He seems to be rather firm where money is being used inappropriately but not when schools are not compliant with ministerial directions regarding LGBTQ children. So odd. One law appears to be more important than another law. http://www.cbc.ca/.../alberta-education-shuts-down... "We will pursue our public funds which meant for these students, most aggressively, to ensure that we have those returned. "http://www.cbc.ca/.../two-private-schools-won-t-comply... Earlier this year, Education Minister David Eggen instructed boards to submit LGBTQ draft policies by the end of March. Some boards resisted, and in the case of the Edmonton Catholic School Board, Eggen appointed a consultant to help shape its new transgender policy.

"I'm not going to allow the minister of education to appoint anyone to come in here — he does not have that dictatorial power," said Coldwell, whose board receives between 60 and 70 per cent of its instructional funding from the province. In a statement, Eggen said his ministry would begin working closely with private school authorities on their policies.

"All schools are required to follow the law," he said. But he did not address CBC's question of whether non-compliant boards would face consequences.
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