4 Things I Believe are Important

Four things that I think would help the Calgary Board of Education in coming years.

We need predictable, sustainable, adequate funding for education in Alberta.  What does this actually mean?  You wouldn’t plan a full scale renovation on your home or take a one year leave of absence from your job without fully ensuring you had the means to do so.  Education is no different.  How can we plan for the future in terms of programming, needs, supports and services for each and every student when we wait with baited breath every spring to hear if the Government of Alberta is going to value education by funding it properly to ensure our kids have the best possible opportunities.

We need Infrastructure – 25 new schools to keep up with the growing Calgary population.  Schools are the heartbeat of any community.  Many of our students are being bussed far away, schools are over capacity and class sizes are growing.  In addition over half of our schools are over 50 years old.  We need modernization dollars to fix our aging schools which desperately require repair.   What would be fabulous for all is if the Government of Alberta provided a transparent methodology that disclosed infrastructure priorities so communities would know when or if they would be receiving a school.

We need a review of the Metro Transportation funding formula.  The Calgary Board of Education is sufficiently underfunded for transportation.  We have to charge families to transport children to school because the funding we receive from the Province does not adequately cover the costs to transport. The Government of Alberta has been promising for years to undertake a review of the formula.  We transport over 35,000 students every day, many of them on very long bus rides, congregated stops and crowded buses.

We need to ensure that each and every student is successful.  What does this mean?  Many of our students do not graduate from high school.  Approximately 1 in 4 students does not graduate from high school in 3 years. In order to do this our students need to be engaged in their learning.  They need to feel connected at school and that they belong.  We need to work together, the school, the student, the parents and the community to ensure this happens and to better the outcomes.

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