Above: Education Minister David Eggen with MLA Trevor Horne and students from Sturgeon Heights School participate in the announcement about benefits to schools from the Classroom Improvement Fund.
by Morinville News Staff
The Government of Alberta is investing an additional $75 million to benefit students and teachers during the 2017-18 school year.
Minister David Eggen announced the Classroom Improvement Fund (CIF) Tuesday morning, but the CIF was part of the central agreement reached between the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the Teachers Employer Bargaining Association in May.
Under this agreement, local school boards and teachers will create a joint proposal for how the CIF money will be used by school authorities.
“Our government is protecting and improving education and making life better for Alberta students,” Eggen said. “We have continued to provide boards with stable and predictable funding, and now the new Classroom Improvement Fund will allow us to go further in supporting our students and preparing them for their futures. We are pleased to see school boards’ representatives and teachers come together to put this new money to good use.”
The $75 million will be allocated based on student enrolment for the 2016-17 school year with school boards receiving the funding during the 2017-18 year. Funds could be used for new teachers and support staff, in-classroom resources, and professional development supports, among other opportunities.
Mark Ramsankar, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, is pleased with the news.
“The CIF will improve classrooms by providing targeted resources to better address the needs of students,” he said. “Through central table bargaining, we have ensured that teachers have a voice in determining how the funding can best be used to support teaching and learning.”
Ramsankar is not alone. Tracy Nowak, board chair of Sturgeon Public School Division, said the CIF grant would help the Division respond to the many pressures they face in providing the very best education to our students and communities every day.
“Sturgeon Public School Division will use its share of the CIF grant to enhance teacher opportunities to collaborate, provide additional mental-health services to students and allow us to invest in professional learning to continue improving instruction,” Nowak said.
School boards and teachers have until Dec. 15, 2017, to submit their proposals for the funds.