by Stephen Dafoe
The NDP Official Opposition continued its call on the UCP to limit class sizes by using existing empty space to physically distance students.
“Every day, I’m hearing from parents and teachers who are worried about sending kids back into crowded classrooms of 30 or more students,” Hoffman said in a media release Wednesday. “You can’t properly distance in a classroom like that. It isn’t safe.”
Instead, the NDP suggest an alternate re-entry plan that limits class size at 15 by using additional spaces to shrink class sizes and hiring additional staff.
“The best way for our government to limit class sizes is to find additional space by collaborating with community partners such as churches, community halls, universities, recreation centers and vacant office buildings to find additional classroom space,” said Calgary teacher Abbey Curzon, who joined Hofmann in a media presentation Wednesday. Curzon also suggested lowering the province’s corporate tax break to fund education.
On Wednesday, the Liberal government announced $2 billion in Safe Return to Class Fund support to the provinces and territories, money the feds suggest could be used for adapted learning spaces, improved air ventilation, increased hand sanitation and hygiene, and purchases of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
Alberta will receive a maximum of $262.84 million of the $2 billion, paid in two installments.
The province has not yet announced how the federal funds will be distributed.