The provincial election is Tuesday, April 16. We encourage everyone to carefully evaluate the candidates' and parties' platforms. On the education front, we are facing many issues that will be impacted by the next governing party.
Questions to ask candidates in the provincial election
What would your party do to ensure a safe and supportive school environment for all students, including those with special needs, LGBTQ students, First Nations students, and students with mental health challenges?
Would your party increase the basic grant per student, which hasn’t changed for four years? What is your party’s plan to ensure we have enough space for students?
What is your party’s plan for the new curriculum?
Many school boards are running transportation deficits. What are your party’s plans to address this?
What will your party do to support the autonomy of locally-elected school boards?
Facts about our District
Here are some facts that will help keep you informed about the importance of stable education funding.
St. Albert Public Schools works hard to support all of its students and staff. We offer a variety of programs and extracurricular options ensure every student’s success. We support our students with initiatives like Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs), our Wisdom and Guidance Committee, and tools to address anxiety and resiliency in youth. In order to support all of our students, we need adequate, predictable funding.
Our district’s enrollment has grown by more than 25% in the last five years in Kindergarten-Grade 9. Many of our schools are full. We do not currently have enough space in our high schools to accommodate this growth in the early grades when these students reach high school. We need new schools and our existing schools need renovations and modular replacements (we have 102 modulars and portables that house more than 2000 students!). Funding for building maintenance has not kept pace and we have aging schools. When it comes to student funding, we receive a set amount for each student in our district. This per-pupil amount has not increased in the last four years.
Parts of the existing curriculum are 30 years old, older than our students! The new curriculum was developed by educators, including some of our staff, and input was provided by a variety of stakeholders over many years. We are planning for and training our staff to deliver the new curriculum in the fall. We are ready for this fresh approach, and so are our students!
Transportation funding has not kept pace with costs. This has resulted in a transportation deficit in most boards, including ours. Right now, our only option is to pull money intended for the classroom to cover this deficit.
Trustees know the unique needs of their community and the local issues. Who better to serve the needs of St. Albert students than locally-elected representatives?
Did you know?
The Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) has also provided the following information:
- Facing the Education Facts: Under-investing in Education is an Issue
- What School Boards Do
Learn more about the role of locally-elected school boards and why their autonomy is so important
- ASBA Poster
- ASBA Education Platform