Calgary schools dip into parent-raised funds to pay teachers, eliminate deficits – Calgary Herald

Some Calgary public schools are using funds set aside for class trips and graduation activities — some of it parent-raised — to eliminate deficits and retain teachers.An employee leaked an internal email sent Dec. 17 to staff at William Aberhart High School explaining that revenue raised by their activities for purposes such as photography, $1,864…

Calgary schools dip into parent-raised funds to pay teachers, eliminate deficits – Calgary Herald

Some Calgary public schools are using funds set aside for class trips and graduation activities — some of it parent-raised — to eliminate deficits and retain teachers.An employee leaked an internal email sent Dec. 17 to staff at William Aberhart High School explaining that revenue raised by their activities for purposes such as photography, $1,864 for a trip to the Netherlands and $7,536 for sports performance equipment would instead be drawn from to avoid laying off teachers.“I understand that many of you feel a sense of ownership over these accounts and, in some cases, have been saving for a specific purpose over a number of years,” stated principal Tamie Annis-Johnson. “Unfortunately, this is necessary and unavoidable and we’ve been directed to draw on these resources … in order to keep teachers in classrooms.”In the email, Johnson said the school was facing a $157,340 deficit not covered by “system budget adjustments.”The concerned staffer said some of the money was raised by parents for specific purposes not related to teaching.“As a parent, I would be livid to find out that my football fee or art fee was actually going to teacher staffing,” said the employee.At William Aberhart, funds totalling more than $134,000 were being drawn, including $22,000 intended for a phys ed bus and $43,000 slated for a gymnasium sound system upgrade.Following last October’s provincial budget, the CBE said it faced a shortfall of $32 million and was forced to cut 317 contract teaching jobs.But the province then provided a one-time $15 million in maintenance money it said could be used to avert those layoffs while also insisting the board could deploy other funds, including re
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