Sending Students Back

The Alberta Party is cautiously optimistic about the UCP decision to resume regular classes in September.  The UCP must come up with adequate resources to ensure a healthy and safe place to work and learn. 

Creating safe schools costs money. But the costs of holding students back will have serious consequences on their future and on Alberta’s prosperity. 

Alberta Party Acting Leader, Jacquie Fenske:

"Ultimately, the decision to send students back should be left to parents. Little thought has been given to substitute teachers' safety, measures in case of an localized outbreak, or how students will be distanced."

Schools can only open up with adequate supports. They need more support staff, educational assistants, caretakers, maintenance, and janitorial staff. They will need smaller class sizes and more time to sanitize. And parents who choose to homeschool should also be given proper supports.

Instead, the UCP is sending kids back to school with LESS per-student funding than they had last year. On top of that, they have defunded Alberta Distance Learning. This is profoundly troubling. 

There also seems to be no indication that the UCP Government consulted with teachers or school boards in making this decision. Just like tearing away teachers' pensions, the Kenney government refuses to listen to the experts.

The Premier has cited countries like Denmark as models to emulate, but these countries have provided large funding increases to provide a safe environment. Heavily emphasizing hygiene and distancing has been effective, but requires more staff and more supplies. This requires money, money the UCP has so far failed to provide for our schools.

Alberta Party Acting Leader, Jacquie Fenske:

"We already saw the UCP throw families’ lives into chaos by closing schools with less than a days’ notice. We would've liked to have it develop more foresight and proactive planning since then. Unfortunately. Minister LaGrange still seems to be leading with no real plans."

It IS possible to send students to school safely. We have a lot of confidence in the frontline teachers and educational staff who will make classrooms work with scarce resources. However, we are appalled by the lack of support they are receiving from their government.

The Alberta Party