Now that in-school classes are cancelled indefinitely, the Alberta government is adjusting the funding for grade K through 12 education to reflect the cost of at-home learning by students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says the funding being taken away would be restored once in-person classes resume.
LaGrange says while funding for teachers and most other aspects of the K to 12 system is being maintained, funding for transportation and some services not being utilized in an at-home learning environment, such as substitute teachers and educational assistants, is being temporarily reduced while in-person classes remain cancelled.
She says any savings from these adjustments will be re-allocated to support Alberta’s COVID-19 response.
The province is promising that the funding adjustments will not negatively impact Alberta’s education continuity plan. School authorities will receive the funding they require to continue providing at-home learning opportunities to their students, ensuring they do not fall behind.
“COVID-19 has changed both how we provide student learning and the operational needs of the education system," says LaGrange, who added, "I want to stress that this is a temporary arrangement as schools focus on at-home learning. I have full confidence the system will continue to be equipped to successfully deliver our education continuity plan.”
Any staff impacted by these funding adjustments will qualify for the federal government’s enhanced employment insurance program and other support programs for Canadian workers.
Since the announcement came over the weekend, a representative for Rocky View Schools wasn't available to comment on how the announcement will impact the division.