Manitoba NDP calls on province to ensure adequate school funding
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba NDP is calling on the government to ensure schools are adequately funded during the 2020/21 school year.
On Wednesday, NDP education critic Nello Altomare said the government should use last year’s enrolment numbers for funding to make sure there’s enough teachers and one-on-one support.
Altomare added that schools are struggling to deal with larger class sizes and increased costs from COVID-19, due to “consistent funding cuts.”
“With continued virus outbreaks in schools and some parents choosing to homeschool, it is critical that teachers and parents have the resources necessary to ensure kids are safe at school and continue learning throughout this pandemic,” Altomare said in a news release.
NDP Leader Wab Kinew said it’s expected that a planned education review from KPMG will recommend more cuts.
“We have heard teachers and EAs who shared that they are expected to develop tailored lesson plans, monitor and keep kids distanced, and deliver online learning in some cases,” Kinew said.
“The Pallister government can’t continue to use the pandemic as a disguise to make more cuts. Put the needs of kids first, ahead of balancing the budget, because every child deserves a shot at success.”
In a statement a provincial spokesperson said Manitoba Education is aware there has been an increase in families homeschooling this year, which may disproportionately impact some school divisions more than others.
“Those in remote learning would be known by the school division and would be counted as pupils of the division,” the division said.
“We are working with school divisions to ensure school funding for the 2021/22 school year is not impacted by unusual enrolment changes in this year.”