Division News Article

School board weighs-in on provincial election

April 2nd, 2019

The Pembina Hills Public Schools Board of Trustees would like to share their local advocacy priorities for the April 16th provincial election.

Board Chair Jennifer Tuininga says, “As a school board we are urging government to invest in education. We are the elected voice, in the region, on the education of K-12 students in our schools. We receive funding from Alberta Education, and direct how education services are delivered. Education is important to our future as an employer and local economic partner. We have a role in ensuring our region is economically strong and viable into the future.”

PHPS is urging government to complete a funding formula review, in partnership with school boards because:

  1. The support for students with complex needs is inadequate and requires the cross funding of ministries. We are one of the 42 out of 61 school boards reporting an inclusive education deficit that is roughly $1.9 million.
  2. At PHPS, we are already running a transportation deficit and experiencing transportation issues with bus ride times. The new mandatory training program (MELT) will put further strain on our budget and may cause issues with bus driver recruitment.
  3. We need flexibility in funding to care for our buildings and make the best choices for our students. Plant, Operations and Maintenance funding is tied to enrolment. As a rural school board with declining enrolment we have fewer students, but our buildings are the same size and we need to maintain and heat those spaces.
  4. Across the province high schools are receiving different amounts of funding for the programs that they offer. This is not fair to students.

Here are some questions parents and members of the public can ask their local candidates.

  • How will you ensure that my child will have a similar education in rural Alberta as those in urban centers?
  • What is your plan to address the education challenges in rural Alberta?
  • How will your party support predictable and sustainable funding for education, given current economic challenges within the province?