Substitute teachers say they don’t want to risk additional exposure to COVID-19

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“There is no guarantee of working hours, benefits or anything, let alone the number of schools, classrooms and children that I will come into contact with as as a substitute, ”she said.

A government spokesperson was unable to provide comment at the time of publication.

While the UCP government has said it would be “impossible” to cap class sizes at 15 because it would require 13,000 new staff and 13,000 new classrooms by September, Hoffman said there are many certified teachers and educational assistants in Alberta who want to help out under a safe plan.

The government cut $ 128 million in April at the start of the pandemic as in-person classes were canceled, leading districts to temporarily lay off more than 20,000 education assistants, support staff, bus drivers and teachers substitutes.

This provincial funding was subsequently restored, but budget cuts forced the permanent layoffs of over 600 full-time equivalents from Edmonton public schools – 137 in Edmonton Catholic.

On August 4, LaGrange pledged $ 10 million for two reusable masks for every student and staff member in Alberta, hand sanitizer and non-contact thermometers.

Hoffman did not come up with a number of teachers who would be needed, but said the government needs to increase school board funding to staff school boards and provide space – and at the very least be in able to rehire those who were made redundant, Hoffman said.

“They haven’t even tried,” Hoffman said.

Schilling said the association would likely have between 1,200 and 1,500 fewer teachers this fall, “so there is a chance to rehire teachers.

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