David Thomas King
David Thomas King (b. 1946)
Former politician and outspoken public education advocate, David Thomas King was a Progressive Conservative MLA from 1971 to 1986. He served as education minister from 1979 to 1986, and was also minister of technology, research and telecommunications, as well as legislative secretary to then-premier Peter Lougheed.
While heading up the education portfolio, King was responsible for several major initiatives such as establishing provincial diploma exams and developing the computer technology in school programs. He was also involved with the teacher internship program and the designated community schools program that connected parents, educators and students to community members and resources.
King was the first executive director of the Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta, from 1990 to 2010 when he retired. In that role, he lobbied for increased public education funding and spoke regularly about education policy. King pressed for more local, rather than provincial, control over schools and education programming, including school construction, flexibility to develop courses locally and increased ability to tailor education to better serve each school community’s population, such as immigrants and refugees.
For his work supporting public education, King received the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s Public Education Award in 2010 and a special recognition award from the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.