Report: Funding For Reduced Class Sizes Ineffective

Funds aimed at reducing class sizes across the province may allocated to different areas.

The Government of Alberta released the results of their latest Alberta Education Report on Friday which noted the funding used over the last 15 years has barely lowered the number of students in each classroom.

Since the 2003-04 school year, $3.4 billion has been allocated towards the class size initiative, however, the average class has only lowered by 1.4 students.

“This report demonstrates that we cannot continue to throw money at this problem, rather that we must look for new solutions while continuing to appropriately fund education,” said Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education, in a release.

Ahead of April’s provincial election, the local teachers association stated smaller class sizes were needed as it gives teachers more opportunities to improve their relationship with each student.

In a perfect world, kindergarten to Grade 3 classes would have 17 students, Grades 4 – 6 would have 23, Grades 7 – 9 would have 25, and Grades 10 – 12 would have 27. In the 2018-19 school year, kindergarten to Grade 3 classes averaged 20.4 students.

“As I make funding decisions, I will be looking through the lens of what is best for our students and what will be most effective in improving student learning,” added LaGrange. “We owe it to parents and children to get better outcomes for the money that is being spent on education.”

The province is now considering making these funds more flexible so school boards can use them to support their unique needs.

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