Education Plan Is a Missed Opportunity to Show Leadership

Release Date 2020 03 28

The Alberta government has missed an opportunity to show leadership in a crisis by ensuring that thousands of Albertans have continuity of income at this very stressful time, says ATA president Jason Schilling in response to a government announcement today that directs school boards to lay off around 25,000 education workers.

“Today’s announcement is very concerning. Teachers and educational assistants work closely together to facilitate student learning. Their work was still being utilized to support students in need of accommodations and those with inadequate access to technology. We continue to have concerns about how students with special needs will be supported through this time—many parents are struggling and need as much help as possible.”

Jason Schilling, ATA president

The Association estimates that around 6,000 substitute teachers and up to 20,000 support staff will be affected by today’s funding cut.

“We were pushing hard to ensure substitute teachers, many of whom work nearly full-time, were also supported. Teachers also stand in solidarity with the support staff affected by this disappointing decision. I appreciate we are in extraordinary times, but laying off tens of thousands of workers at this time is the wrong direction. Thankfully the Trudeau government is stepping up to protect people and the economy through a humane, farsighted and compassionate program that will make sure individuals are looked after and the current fragile economy is supported.”

Jason Schilling, ATA President

The Alberta Teachers’ Association, as the professional organization of teachers, promotes and advances public education, safeguards standards of professional practice and serves as the advocate for its 46,000 members.