Province announces further cuts to education funding

Money already earmarked for educational assistants, bus drivers and substitute teachers in the Alberta budget is being taken away nearly two weeks after it was promised to them

Educational assistants are now amongst those having to grapple with what many Albertans feel was a blindside by the provincial government over the weekend.

On Saturday, the provincial government released a brief statement indicating that funding will be withheld from schools for educational assistants, substitute teachers, bus drivers and others during the coronavirus pandemic.

As recently as March 18, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange had promised Albertans that all funding for students with complex needs would be maintained, including wages for EAs. However, the $128 million in cuts will leave many, who were promised by the province that their paychecks would be unaffected, to now turn to employment insurance.

While the UCP government did specify that funding for these jobs would be available again when school resumes, employees affected by the cut must now rely on EI.

The job cuts are expected to further hurt the province’s reeling economy while adding even more stress to working families who are already struggling through the coronavirus pandemic.

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