Small Class Sizes, Specialized Supports & Mental Health Top Priorities From Community As FMPSD Prepares Next School Budget

A large number of the community is expressing their desire to keep class sizes small in the Fort McMurray Public School Division.

That’s according to a survey conducted by the FMPSD where residents could share their thoughts on what the division should focus their attention on in the 2021-22 budget.

Over 2,400 individuals took part, more than half being parents and guardians, with around 1,700 opinions being provided.

These thoughts were also rated with the top three each expressing concerns about larger class sizes.

Classroom and specialized supports, as well as mental health, rounded out the top priorities raised through the survey.

The FMPSD also wanted thoughts on what their focus should be if they have to consider reducing costs.

The main response, being supported by 35 per cent of participants, was to rather increase specialty fees which includes sports, arts, technology, and Reggio to help cover the difference.

Just behind was reducing the number of program options offered and an increase in transportation fees.

“Up next, the Division will receive the 2021-2022 provincial budget allocation for FMPSD at the end of March,” said Jennifer Turner, FMPSD Superintendent.

“The Board and staff will use achievement information, school priorities, stakeholder priorities, and budget parameters to build the framework for the 2021-2022 budget.”

According to the province’s budget, they’re allocating $8.2 billion for kindergarten to grade 12 education services across Alberta, which is around $100 million less from last year.

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