Alberta School Councils’ Association wants a comprehensive funding review for education. (File photo contributed)

School council association wants funding review

Funding needed to build more Red Deer schools

The Alberta School Councils’ Association will discuss the need for a comprehensive review of the way government funds education at a meeting in Edmonton on the weekend.

President Allison Pike said with a new provincial government, it’s an important time to listen to what parents have to say.

She said a review would show where money is going, and the needs of communities, to make it more equitable for students regardless of where they live in Alberta.

“It’s really looking at digging deep on how those funding formulas are created. At the time they were created, it may have worked. But currently, we’re hearing in many communities those funding formulas aren’t working,” Pike said.

She said per pupil funding for some schools in small communities doesn’t cover the cost of maintaining aging facilities. Students wear their jackets in class to stay warm.

But in big-city high schools, there’s not enough seats for students due to overcrowded classrooms.

Jaelene Tweedle, chair of the city-wide school council for Red Deer Public Schools, said the district needs another high school and a middle school, so funding to build new schools is needed, as well as resources to address classroom composition.

She said funding for classroom improvements in the past few years has helped.

“But I know with Red Deer public, they still always struggle to meet those class size caps that are in place. But they’re working with the funding they have,” Tweedle said.

“It’s very important we don’t have overcrowded classrooms, but that classrooms are manageable as well as based on the individual student’s needs.”

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