CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts today said the NDP government’s education funding announcement is good news for students, their families, and workers.
“With 12,000 new kids entering the system in the fall, we need this additional funding,” Roberts said. “This will ensure we have well-maintained schools, with the support students need.”
Under the previous government, boards were ordered to cut their budgets, Roberts said. Boards were also told no new provincial funding would be available for the next three years, despite Alberta’s soaring enrolments.
“The previous government cut the amount of funding available to be spent on each student,” Roberts said. “This would have meant increased class sizes, more portable classrooms, program and staff cuts, less money on maintenance and student support – it would have been a disaster for students, for the learning environment, and for Alberta’s investment in our future.”
Boards of education across the province were already making plans to cut important services.
“The Calgary Board of Education was discussing lowering the standard of cleanliness in its schools to help make up for the shortfall,” Roberts said. “We need to ask ourselves: are we acting responsibly if we have to make plans to operate dirty schools?”
“We have seen cutbacks in all areas in which support-staff work. This leads to reduced learning hours and less opportunity for the students to excel,” she said.
“As a parent and a stakeholder, I am glad the NDP government is taking action to improve our schools,” Roberts said.
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