Posted on May 28, 2021
UCP CUTS TO EDUCATION HAS CAUSED STUDENTS TO FALL BEHIND
EDMONTON – Earlier today the UCP announced a $45 million program for students in Grades 1 to 3 who require extra help with literacy and numeracy after falling behind because of lack of support to schools from the Government over the course of the pandemic.
“Kids are facing these challenges because the UCP failed to act at the beginning of the pandemic,” said NDP Critic for Education Sarah Hoffman. “They have fallen behind because the UCP cut education staff, cut funding to schools, and failed to provide the necessary supports so schools could stay open, and stay open safely.”
Alberta is expected to have another 20,000 students enter the school system in this coming year. According to the UCP’s Budget 2021, there will be 2,000 fewer teachers and Educational Assistants for the upcoming year.
“This yo-yo between in-person and online learning that kids have had to go through over the last fifteen months has no doubt affected their quality of education. Staff, teachers, and parents have done an amazing job in supporting children during this time. Jason Kenney has not,” said Hoffman.
Feedback for this program was based on feedback from superintendents, and there does not seem to be any indication that teachers or parents were consulted.
School authorities will design programming, and can receive funding for group sessions for up to 16 weeks for students in Grades 1 to 3 who are assessed as needing additional support.
The $45 million program is 7.1% of the $632 million the UCP has cut from education funding since 2019.
“This is too little, too late. This $45 million is a drop in the bucket of what the UCP has cut from schools for this upcoming school year. We need to restore per-pupil funding levels to what they were before. Jason Kenney is not taking responsibility for the situation he has put children and teachers in,” said Hoffman.