Bill 85 to create online public registry of Alberta teachers, streamline disciplinary process

CALGARY –

A bill tabled in the Alberta legislature could see an online registry created in the province that would allow parents to view more information about a teacher or teacher leader, including any disciplinary action they may have faced.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange introduced Bill 85 — the Students First Act — on Tuesday afternoon. If passed, Bill 85 would also shorten the judicial review period for disciplinary decisions from six months to 60 days, and would require the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) to notify Alberta Education about all complaints made about its members. 

“By making disciplinary matters more transparent, we will ensure safety for students, confidence for parents and accountability for teachers,” reads part of a statement from LaGrange. 

“The vast majority of teachers across Alberta are incredible, hard-working educators who have the best interest of their students at heart. However, when instances of professional misconduct or criminal wrongdoing do arise, they need to be dealt with quickly and transparently.” 

Alberta NDP Education Critic Sarah Hoffman issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, calling the bill nothing more than a way to distract from ongoing issues.

“It’s “disappointing that Minister LaGrange is using her time in the legislature to duplicate existing measures when she should be working to fix the problems she has created in our schools.”

“Alberta students will be struggling to catch up on years of learning loss due to her failure to keep students safe through the pandemic,” it read.

“She has taken away educational assistants and other supports that students with complex needs rely on.

“She is forcing a backward, racist, and age-inappropriate curriculum on students, staff and families who have overwhelmingly rejected it.

“Just this month, we learned that students across Alberta are in danger of losing their school bus transportation because the UCP chose to help their friends in the insurance industry rather than protect working families.

“This bill is a cynical attempt to distract from the catalog of harm Adriana LaGrange has caused to Alberta’s education system.”

Bill 85 would also cut the number of ATA committees from six to three and would include teachers appointed to the positions along with public members appointed by the minister. The education minister would still have final say on whether a teacher should have their certificate suspended or revoked. 

The online registry would be searchable and would show the names of teachers, the type of certificates they hold and whether any of those certificates have been suspended or cancelled since 1990.

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