LETHBRIDGE: Some emotional reaction from a crowd of about 75 local parents at a special
meeting Wednesday night.
With all the audience chairs filled, some parents sat on the back stairs to
hear administrators explain their decision to axe about 60 teaching and support
staff jobs - including 30 aides for special needs kids. Parents of special
needs children said their kids are likely to lose the most ground academically,
in face of these changes.
One parent commented to Country 95 News, "So this is essentially the
government of Alberta has torpedoed the ship and said to the school board move
the deck chairs around and make it look different".
According to another parent, "Families are upset, obviously, when there's a
reduction in resources because it's kids with disabilities that look like their
going to pay the price and families have to carry more of that burden".
Superintendent Barry Litun was empathic, "We (educators) will look after
the children that come to our schools and we will do the best that we can and I
can assure everyone that they will be given care -- thy will be given a safe
environment and they will be given a good learning experience".
The board says they're 5-million dollars short due to provincial funding
cuts and will make its final vote on the staffing cuts at a public meeting May
Many parents left the meeting vowing to write angry letters to their M-L-A
and the Alberta premier. An unidentified mother noted, "As long as education
doesn't get funding, it doesn't really matter what the school board does -- they
can rearrange things a little bit and they seem to be doing it and people are
going to be upset -- or not." However, she went on, "The problem is