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St. Paul education says 100 layoffs after funding changes

A school division in the Lakeland says over 100 support staff have been laid off after budget adjustments by the provincial government. St. Paul Education said in a release issued Thursday evening that their education funding saw a 14% decrease as well as a 51% decrease for transportation after a March 28th announcement by the UCP government that the funding for educational assistants and transportation would be temporarily cut in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“St Paul Education’s total funding reduction was $778,686, and unfortunately, this resulted in the layoff of over 100 full-time equivalent support staff employees.”

“The Board of Trustees certainly recognizes the work of all its employees during these uncertain times and hopes to rehire many of our people back when students eventually return to the classroom.

The school board says the employees who were laid off have been paid for the month of April and have access to benefits through the months of May and June. They also say they were able to retain “a number” of educational assistants for students, including those with unique learning needs.

“St. Paul Education acknowledges the many challenges we face in our community during these unprecedented times. The health and safety of everyone is paramount and we wish you the best.”

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Students have been out of Alberta schools since March 15th after rules to help control the spread of COVID-19 were announced by the government.

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