Posted on Aug 28, 2020


EDMONTON - Alberta’s NDP Official Opposition is calling on Education Minister Adriana LaGrange to use new federal money to make Alberta schools safe immediately and help protect students, staff, families and communities from COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the federal government announced $2-billion in new funding for school reentry, including $262 million for Alberta. The Ontario government released a detailed plan for its share of the funding the same day, including additional teaching and custodial staff, PPE, physical distancing on school buses, support for mental health and students with complex needs, additional public health nurses and resources for remote learning.

Two days later, LaGrange’s office has released no details on how the funding will be used in Alberta.

“Adriana LaGrange had five months to prepare for school re-opening, and failed to provide the resources to staff up and spread out,” said Sarah Hoffman, NDP Official Opposition Critic for Education. “Now she’s been handed more than a quarter of a billion dollars and still has no plan on how to make Alberta classrooms safe.”

The NDP Official Opposition has presented the government with a detailed plan for re-opening, Safe Schools, Successful Students. The plan contains specific 15 recommendations to protect students, families, staff and communities.

“Minister LaGrange can use the money to enact parts of the plan we provided to her, or she could simply apply it to the per-pupil grant and get out of the way of school districts,” Hoffman said. “Students are back in class in a matter of days. She needs to stop sitting on her hands.”