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Advocacy

Raise Your Voice - Advocacy

Why an advocacy section on the FSD website? 

We are often asked how parents and staff can help support our Foothills School Division goals and objectives. We appreciate this offer of help and are happy to invite our community to support our advocacy efforts.  

 

What are the school division priorities? 

Our current focus areas for advocacy all share a common goal: Ensuring that a majority of our budget dollars are directed to school and classroom-based staff. This will ensure that we operate at maximum efficiency while also promoting high quality learning in all of our schools across the division. 

Our advocacy priorities are: 

 •    Reducing property insurance costs to redirect these operational dollars back into our classrooms 

 •    Increasing transportation funding to redirect these operational dollars back into our classrooms to reduce and/or eliminate transportation fees for eligible students   

 •    Securing funding for a new high school in Okotoks to reduce the student population at École Foothills Composite High School/Alberta High School of Fine Arts which currently sits at over 120% capacity  

 •    Increasing funding for student mental health supports to provide enhanced opportunities for positive mental health across our division and community   

 

How can you help?

Your voice as a stakeholder in public education is key to advocating for positive change. Sharing your voice with elected officials and decision makers is a great way to support our advocacy efforts. You can do this easily: 

 •    Download a draft letter from the area of advocacy you feel strongly about  

 •    Add your thoughts to the letter at your discretion 

 •    Sign the letter 

 •    Email your elected officials 


The facts about our advocacy priorities?

Reducing property insurance costs  

 •    We have a legislated responsibility to purchase property insurance coverage for all of our sites 

 •    We cannot use capital funding budget dollars to purchase insurance 

 •    In the 2018-2019 school year we paid $570,000 for insurance 

 •    Since that time our property & insurance costs have increased close to 400% 

 •    For the 2022-2023 school year our property insurance costs are over 1.7 million dollars

 •    The difference is drawn from our operational funding budget, with some relief funding from the province

 •    This $1.7 million should be spent on classroom-based staffing  

 •    Alberta government support can help us solve this funding shortfall  

 •    Download your advocacy letter of support here

   

Increasing transportation funding  

 •    Our current Alberta Education transportation funding is based on a snapshot of costs that was taken in 2013, with some small increases 

 •    Costs for fuel, busses, and human resources have increased significantly since 2013 

 •    We cannot use capital funding budget dollars to purchase insurance 

 •    Alberta government support can help us solve this funding shortfall  

 •    We realize a $250,000 shortfall in transportation costs every school year and this is drawn from our operational funding  

 •    This $250,000 should be spent on classroom-based staffing  

 •    Download your advocacy letter of support here

 

Securing funding for a new high school in Okotoks  

 •    École Foothills Composite High School/Alberta High School of Fine Arts is built to accommodate 1000 students 

 •    The school currently has an enrollment of 1429 students or approximately 120% of its intended capacity 

 •    School programming opportunities are limited in over-capacity schools  

 •    Okotoks and the County of Foothills are planning to build a water pipeline from Calgary that will be operational in 2025 

 •    Securing a reliable water supply will see increased development and population growth in the school’s catchment area 

 •    We are working with the Town of Okotoks to collaboratively plan a shared school and community site   

 •    Alberta Education funding will see a new high school site operational by 2025 

 •    Download your advocacy letter of support here

 

Increasing funding for student mental health supports  

 •    Our division data tells us that mental wellness for our students has decreased significantly in the last several years 

 •    We have seen an increase in: 

       ◦    Self-reported student anxiety 

       ◦    Student suicide risk assessments 

       ◦    Student violence threat assessments 

 •    Overall funding has remained consistent over the last 3 years

 •    Overall costs have consistently increased over the last 3 years

 •    Reductions in human resources across all job categories are the result

 •    Students are not able to receive the same level of support in their school

 •    We have had to decrease our division mental wellness staff 

 •    Government of Alberta funding will help us increase support for our students to meet existing student needs 

 •    Download your advocacy letter of support here

 

Where can I learn more?

The following links provide more information about the advocacy priorities outlined above: 

Foothills School Division Budget 2022-2023

Funding manual for school authorities 2022/2023 school year 

Province of Alberta Education Act 

Alberta 2022-2023 First Quarter Fiscal Update and Economic Statement

Alberta Infrastructure - Planning school projects

 Contact  communications@fsd38.ab.ca
 Contact  superintendent@fsd38.ab.ca


Where can I find decision maker contact information?

Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith
premier@gov.ab.ca 
780.427.2251 

Minister of Education, Adriana LaGrange 
education.minister@gov.ab.ca 
780.427.5010 

Minister of Finance, Jason Nixon 
Rimbey.RockyMountainhouse.Sundre@assembly.ab.ca
780.427.2391

Highwood MLA, RJ Sigurdson
Highwood@assembly.ab.ca 
403.995.5488 

Livingstone-Macleod, MLA Roger Reid
Livingstone.Macleod@assembly.ab.ca 
825.212.2000 

Banff-Kananaskis, MLA Miranda Rosin 
Banff.Kananaskis@assembly.ab.ca 
403.609.4509 

 

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