, 16 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
I'm following the Alberta Party again today on the #abvote campaign trail. Leader @SMandel_AB will announce at 10:30 a.m. he plans to double the number of educational assistants in schools while reducing class sizes. #ableg #abed
The Alberta Party is promising a "boost in funding for inclusive education." Current provincial budget for inclusive education is $461 million. Some smaller school boards have said they divert $ from other areas to meet the needs of students with disabilities. #abed #ableg
Mandel’s education announcement is at Al Mustafa Academy in SE #yeg. Not sure if this is a signal about his position on private schools, or because of public school rules about no political campaigning on grounds. #abed #ableg
Here are some kids and Mandel at Al Mustafa Academy #ableg #abed
AP Leader Stephen Mandel took some unequivocal stances on some education issues just now. I’ll list them here. First, the aim to double educational assistants in classrooms would be over about 2 years. Would raise inclusive Ed budget to $690M a year from $461M #abed #ableg
Mandel also said that evaluations for learning disabilities, speech delays, other needs, should take place within 90 days of request. Didn’t have current wait time handy, but says he hears it’s too long #abed #ableg #abvote
Me: how are you gonna do this? Mandel: the new early childhood ministry he announced Wednesday will help more tots and preschoolers with disabilities be identified earlier, which will take some burden/costs off schools. #ableg #abvote #abed
Where does Mandel stand on funding model for private/charter schools? An AP government would maintain the status quo. Private school Sts get 70 % of funding that Sts in public schools receive. Charters get 100%. #abed #ableg #abvote
Re: public/private school funding, Mandel quotes: “When you hold revolutions you end up hurting the most vulnerable.” Public schools aren’t the right choice for some, he says. #abed #ableg #abvote
The principal of Al Mustafa asked him, later, why doesn’t money follow the children? School is run by a humanitarian society, 65 per cent can’t afford to pay tuition. Mandel suggests they should join public school board if they want 100 % $ #abed #ableg #abvote
Another election promise alert: Stephen Mandel commits to an Alberta Party government funding school enrolment growth the same year it occurs (attention, all AB school trustees). EPSB for example expects 3,000 more students by next September #abed #abvote #ableg
Mandel said it would made no sense to fund more EAs in classrooms, then not keep up with funding the number of students enrolled. #abed #ableg #abvote
Mandel also made a commitment to reducing class sizes but did not offer a mechanism. He did not take a position on current ACOL size guidelines or idea of class size caps. Said he would consult with teachers, research. #abed #ableg #abvote
Mandel also promised an “orderly ongoing investment” in school infrastructure, both new builds and modernizations/replacements. And he ruled out P3 school builds. Mandel is “not a P3 fan,” because it assumes private sector is better at building schools that govt. #abed #ableg
Of course, I asked the question we always ask, which is, how are you going to pay for all of this? Mandel said, borrowing, but only borrowing with a payback plan in place and based on existing revenues. #abed #abvote #ableg
And then Mandel (jokingly) called me mean for asking so many questions and making the kids stand quietly for so long. Politics is rough, kids, suck it up. #abed #ableg #abvote
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