When they were elected, the UCP promised more funding to schools. Instead we’ve seen funding cuts. The government is leaving school boards to make hard choices while costs rise.
We need to make sure the 2022 budget increases funding for schools. Otherwise, we’ll continue to see the same impacts:
- Teaching positions and education support workers are being cut.
- Programs are being eliminated and supports for students are eroding.
- Schools are in need of repairs and maintenance.
- Resources are old and out of date.
All of this puts our children’s education at risk.
Larger Class Sizes
The government has stopped tracking and reporting on class sizes, resulting in classes growing larger.
Our large classes also have large numbers of students with specialised learning needs and second language learners included in them. As teachers try to manage more students with higher needs, every child is left at a disadvantage, with a disproportionate impact on kids who are vulnerable. Larger class sizes also lead to an increased spread of COVID-19, as children are crowded together. Students under 12 are unvaccinated—they are incredibly vulnerable.
Even though the Alberta government is halting the implementation of part of their draft curriculum, they are still going ahead with the English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Physical Education and Wellness curriculums. The draft curriculum, coming into full force in September 2022, still is hugely problematic:
- It was developed without meaningful consultation with curriculum, subject matter, or education experts.
- It is overloaded with too much irrelevant information and learning outcomes that lack high academic standards for younger children.
- It features a dated approach to technology, raising the risk that Albertan graduates will be unprepared for the changing world.
- No resources, like textbooks, have been provided, and there has been no guidance given about how to provide assessments on learning.
What’s more, it is unclear how the subjects of the draft curriculum that have been sent back to the drawing board – Social Studies, Science and Fine Arts – will be redeveloped. Teachers must be full partners in the development of any new curriculum for students in Alberta.
Alberta is a world leader in education. Now—thanks to funding cuts, class sizes and the dangerous new curriculum—that is at risk.