Leader: Rachel Notley
Strong Public Education. For Our Kids.
More teachers. More support staff. Better education.
Albertans expect their government to prepare Alberta’s kids for the future by properly funding our public education system. Rachel Notley knows that investing in our schools and students is one of the most important investments we can make in our province’s future.
Notley’s plan for the next four years invests in education and supports Alberta’s young learners by strengthening and modernizing Alberta’s education system. Our kids deserve nothing less.
Every child that enters a school will have a teacher to greet them and the resources they need to learn. Notley’s plan will ensure up to 1,000 new teachers and support staff by:
- Fully-funding enrollment growth, adding 600 new teachers and support staff for an estimated 15,000 new students this fall and;
- Increasing the Classroom Improvement Fund (CIF) from $77 million to $100 million annually, adding up to 400 new teachers and support staff this fall.
The CIF is distributed to schools based on student enrolment. In the 2018-19 school year, the fund helped hire and retain teachers and support staff, as well as better support students with complex needs, and those learning one of Canada’s official languages for the first time.
Building on the recent success of expanded language programs in Alberta schools, Notley’s plan will create new provincial Filipino, Punjabi, Somali and Cantonese courses. This will help ensure more students are prepared for Alberta’s future in a global marketplace.
Building new schools and playgrounds. Because we need them.
When parents and students were being asked to continue learning in overcrowded and crumbling schools, Rachel Notley stepped up to build new schools. Rather than make empty promises like the previous government did, Rachel Notley invested in 244 new and modernized schools right across Alberta.
We know there’s more to do. Not only will we ensure the completion of the 100 schools currently under construction, we will continue to invest in Alberta communities and keep up with our growing population by investing $1.3 billion to build and upgrade another 70 schools across the province, including badly needed high schools such as the one in north Calgary.
Rather than making parents fundraise to build and fix playgrounds, Rachel Notley will ensure every new and modernized school project comes with a $250,000 investment in a new playground. In addition, Notley’s plan invests $5 million per year to assist mature schools and neighbourhoods to replace 100 aging and outdated school playgrounds.
Safe and supportive spaces for LGBTQ students.
While some political parties are proposing to remove protections for LGBTQ students, Rachel Notley will ensure all students right the right to form a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) in Alberta.
Studies show that students who do not identify as heterosexual are subject to verbal and physical harassment and discrimination at school, and that GSAs promote and enhance school inclusion, support and feelings of belonging for all students.
We passed An Act to Support Gay Straight Alliances into law to protect a student’s right to form a gay-straight alliance at their school without fear of being outed. This was a priority for our government because every single student deserves to feel safe and welcome at their school.
This law requires all publicly funded schools to create welcoming, caring and safe school policies and post them publicly on their website. The law also requires school administration to create a GSA in a timely manner if one is requested by students.
Rachel Notley will continue to protect all students by ensuring the timely creation of a GSA when requested by students, so they have access to a safe space without fear of being outed.
Building on our record of strong public education.
Before the last election, investment in education was falling behind. Kids were having to learn in outdated and overcrowded schools with crumbling infrastructure. That’s why Rachel Notley focused on improving classroom conditions and to build new schools by:
- Investing in 244 new and modernized schools in every corner of the province.
- Hiring 4,000 new teachers and support staff by continuing to fully fund enrolment growth in the system.
- Serving a daily healthy meal to 30,000 kids, helping those kids live better and get better results, through a successful new nutrition program.
- Launching the province’s first comprehensive curriculum review, updating 30-year-old curriculum, to make sure our kids learn today’s basics and have the problem-solving skills they need to be successful in today’s fast changing world.
- Passing a law that ensures every student in every school can form a gay straight alliance without fear of being outed.
- Reducing school fees for Alberta families saving them $60 million annually.
- Building playgrounds when we build a new school because it just makes sense. All new and replacement schools will get $250,000 towards a playground. We also launched a pilot program to fund playgrounds in older neighbourhoods.
- Developing an Arabic language program that school boards across the province can offer to students.
Source: NPD News Release, March 28, 2019