Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange visited the Board of Trustees and Clearview Public Schools on Oct. 3rd.
The meeting was held at Stettler Elementary School where the Minister visited classrooms and spoke to students. Drumheller-Stettler MLA Nate Horner also attended the meeting.
“It was a positive meeting with Education Minister LaGrange. Clearview appreciates that she and MLA Horner took the time to meet with the board and some of our students. We were able to talk about protecting funding and services for rural students as well as other issues unique to rural divisions,” said Greg Hayden, board chair.
Trustees appreciated the opportunity to meet with the new Minister of Education and engaged in a great conversation on education priorities and successes in our communities. The points focused on from the key message document included:
· Rural funding must be protected. Funding should be increased in key areas, and generally by inflationary measures. In particular, Small School by Necessity (SSbN) and Equity of Opportunity funding is needed to maintain small schools. Further, SSbN supports our facilities budget, and reductions in the SSbN funding or facilities funding puts at risk Clearview’s ability to operate small, rural schools in vital communities.
· To protect services for students, the Alberta Government should consider reinstating the fuel price contingency grant OR allow school buses to use marked fuel (in consideration that funding is from primarily the Alberta Government).
· Mandatory Entry Level Training (introduced 2019): Clearview believes that MELT standards should not apply to school divisions, and standards that existed prior to 2019 would be the best balance towards safety of students, the public, and operational needs.
· Clearview believes the Alberta Government should consider, as part of the funding review, removing grants available to Catholic schools (such as the small school by necessity grant) where the public school system can accommodate those students. Further, shared services such as transportation should be a necessity.