Gateway Gazette

FSD: Temporary K-12 Education Funding Adjustments

UPDATE – April 2

Last Saturday’s announcement that the provincial government was redirecting 2019-2020 education funding to the provincial COVID-19 response will unfortunately result in the temporary layoff of some Foothills School Division (FSD) employees.

Funding from the province to FSD has been reduced by $1.66 million. In total, the government is expected to reduce funding to Alberta school jurisdictions by $128 million.

Given this funding reduction, the Board of Trustees and Executive Team have reviewed all aspects of its 2019/20 budget to maximize student support and continuity of learning.  We have realized additional divisional cost savings through a decrease in facility operating expenses during this world health emergency.  In addition, we also predict a reduction in transportation, guest teacher, professional development, and travel costs.

Chris Fuzessy, Superintendent of Schools says, “Through these anticipated savings, while still difficult, we are thankful that we are now able to delay temporary layoffs until May 15, 2020.  This will allow staff teams additional time to develop transition plans while offering students and families ongoing support on continuity of learning.”

Foothills School Division recognizes that our support staff will be missed during this unexpected absence.  We want to re-emphasize that these temporary layoffs are in no way reflective of the work the individuals have done, the connection they have made with our students, or the support they offer to our colleagues, families, and school communities.

“The Board of Trustees are incredibly proud of how all staff in our schools have responded to these challenging times working together to deliver and facilitate learning for our students” said Chair Larry Albrecht.  “Our support staff play an important role assisting students and teachers.  We look forward to welcoming them back when schools reopen and classes resume.”

The effects of COVID-19 continue around the world, Alberta, and Foothills School Division.

On Saturday, we shared with you information regarding changes to provincial education funding.  This news announced the temporary reallocation of some resources from education to Alberta’s COVID-19 response.  This is a world health emergency and it continues to have many implications.

I join you today in sadness and disappointment as we must begin to announce temporary layoffs.  These adjustments will have a significant impact on our team and this provincial decision will be felt across Foothills School Division.

To everyone who may receive a temporary layoff notice in the coming days, there is no question that your support will be missed by our students and families during this temporary absence.  We know the level of caring and commitment you have for our students.  Which is why we promise to communicate changes with compassion and clarity.  We will do our best to support you through this difficult period.

I want to emphasize that these reductions in no way diminish the work these individuals have done, the connection they have made with our students, or the support they offer to our colleagues, families, and school communities.

On behalf of Foothills School Division, please know that you have our utmost respect and we look forward to reuniting with each of you soon.

Chris Fuzessy
Superintendent of Schools

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