Friday, September 22, 2023

Lethbridge School Division cancels 120 COVID-19 layoffs, 300 others remain

The Lethbridge School Division has decided to cancel layoff notices for 120 of its employees.

The public district has been trying to make adjustments to account for a $1.5 million loss after the province temporarily cut funding for K-12 education a few weeks ago to reflect the cost of at-home learning during COVID-19.

Instead, a decision has now been made to cancel layoffs for some educational assistants, advanced educational support staff, administrative support, and First Nations Metis and Inuit liaisons.

Superintendent Cheryl Gilmore says educational assistants perform a crucial roll in supporting students with complex needs and cancelling these 120 layoffs will make sure those staff can assist schools in making sure students are engaged in the district’s learning-at-home model.

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Layoff notices, however are still in place for 300 other employees in the Lethbridge School Division.

Those will be effective April 30th.

To keep all staff in the fall, the division had to make up a $3 million funding shortfall in the November fall budget update. One-time reserve funds and other operational efficiencies were utilized at that time. Reserves are also being built into the 2020/2021 draft budget to cushion the impact of the new funding framework

“Our staff has been incredibly flexible, committed and are continuing with what needs to get done to serve students in an entirely-different context. I am incredibly proud of the work that is being done across the Division,” says Gilmore.

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