EDMONTON – Following the closure of schools and the cancellation of classes indefinitely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, funding for K-12 education is being temporarily adjusted.
The Alberta government saying funding for transportation and some services not being utilized in an at-home learning environment is being reduced for the time being.
Any savings from the adjustments will be re-allocated to support Alberta during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has changed both how we provide student learning and the operational needs of the education system,” said Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange.
“I want to stress that this is a temporary arrangement as schools focus on at-home learning.”
Our number one priority continues to be the safety of all Albertans, including our students and teachers. That's why we are temporarily adjusting payments to school authorities to further support Alberta's #COVID19AB response.
— Adriana LaGrange (@AdrianaLaGrange) March 28, 2020
Any teachers affected by the adjustments will qualify for the federal government’s enhanced EI program.
In response to the changes, NDP Opposition Critic for Education Sarah Hoffman says it is “pure cruelty.”
“The Kenney government cutting $128 million from the school system and the job losses will do more harm to students with complex needs, their families and tens of thousands of Alberta workers,” added Hoffman.
NDP Leader Rachel Notely took to Twitter saying the UCP broke its promise in not cutting education funding during a pandemic.
Less than two weeks ago, the UCP promised they would not cut education funding during this pandemic. Today, they broke that promise. Watch Minister LaGrange on March 15th promising not to do the very thing she did today. #ableg #abed pic.twitter.com/Zsr7ag3mmr
— Rachel Notley (@RachelNotley) March 28, 2020
Meanwhile, the Alberta Teachers’ Association isn’t taking lightly to the news either.
President of the ATA Jason Schilling says he’s disappointed in the move adding, support staff are critical to the continuity of education.
I am deeply concerned and worried about education in Alberta after today's announcement by government. There is great need for support staff to assist in the continuity of education. Creating more chaos in our education system through lay offs is unwise. /1 @albertateachers
— jason schilling (@schill_dawg) March 28, 2020
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