Restored funding helps students start the school year right
As Alberta students head back to class, many schools are seeing the direct benefits of $103 million dedicated by government to support enrolment growth.
Highlights include: school boards hiring more teachers, maintaining teacher-student ratios, hiring Diverse Learning Teachers, and putting specific supports in place for vulnerable students including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit learners.
On Tuesday, Minister of Education David Eggen visited St. Catherine School in Edmonton to see firsthand the positive impacts.
“In this time of careful planning and funding pressures in Alberta, we are prioritizing core funding for education. I am pleased to see that the $103 million is going directly to support students, teachers and classes. And I am proud of the work our schools and boards do to support those students who need a little extra support.”
David Eggen, Minister of Education
By making the decision to restore funding ahead of a full provincial budget in the fall, school boards were given time to prepare properly for the 2015-16 year and devote efforts towards providing a positive learning environment for students.
“Receiving the commitment to funding in the spring has allowed us as a school board to enhance our services and hire staff to meet the needs of our students. Examples like the ones the Minister saw today at St. Catherine’s exist throughout our schools. This truly focuses on student success.”
Debbie Engel, Board Chair-Edmonton Catholic Schools
This week, Minister Eggen will begin a tour that will see him meet with representatives from each of the province’s 63 school boards. Along the way, he will also visit classrooms and meet with students and educators.
Edmonton Catholic Schools
- Hiring an additional 41 teachers, allowing for class sizes to remain consistent as enrolment grows by an anticipated 1,300 students.
- Retaining and continuing services currently offered to the students and families who have just arrived in Canada, as well as the 8,000 English Language Learners.
- A continuation of supports for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, such as graduation coaches who help students succeed.
Edmonton Public Schools
- Hiring an additional 67 teachers and 51 support staff.
- Restoring funding for inclusive education at $61.8 million. This allowed board to rehire 20 Inclusive Learning team members.
- Filling six consulting positions (psychologists, reading specialists, etc.)
Calgary Board of Education
- Hiring an additional 114 teachers and 79 support staff.
- Reducing bus fees by $30 per student.
- Maintaining staffing levels in areas related to vulnerable students, namely English Language Learners and First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
Calgary Catholic School District
- Hiring 40 Diverse Learning Teachers, who work with highest-need students
- Restoring staffing ratio in high schools.
Fort McMurray Catholic Schools
- Class sizes will remain steady at 2014/15 levels despite increasing student numbers.
- The ratio of Learning Coaches and specialized service workers will be maintained to assist vulnerable students.
Grande Prairie Catholic School District
- Hire an additional 8 teachers as well as an additional 8 educational assistants.
- Increased funding for student mental health services by $35,000.
Lethbridge School District
- A total of $1.7 million put towards hiring additional teachers.
- Halted reduction in caretaking hours at middle and high school levels.