Steinbach MLA and Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced that the Manitoba government is providing direct support and funding to ensure safe and healthy learning environments.
“Our government is providing Manitoba schools with the financial resources they need to support their students and staff,” said Goertzen. “Meeting the recommended health provisions requires financial support and we are ensuring that support is available to schools. We know that teachers, students and staff are adjusting to a different and sometimes difficult school environment and Manitobans are grateful for all of their efforts.”
The province has shared with school divisions further details about the per-pupil monies flowing from the Safe Schools funding. All school divisions will be able to access the Safe Schools supports and funding, which consists of $52 million in one-time COVID-19 funding, plus $48 million in preparedness savings already set aside for this purpose.
The minister said of the $52 million made available, $12 million is estimated for masks and personal protective equipment, $32 million for school divisions and independent schools to access up to a per-pupil maximum, and $8 million to address serious and urgent health and safety measures over and above the school division allocation.
In addition to PPE and masks, the focused funding will be used to directly support schools, teachers and students across the province with enhanced cleaning and sanitization including more supplies and custodial staffing, increased bus transportation capacity, technology related costs, and ensuring substitute teachers and educational staff are available to keep schools open and children learning.
In addition, the $85.4 million in federal funds for education will be fully allocated towards achieving these goals as well as additional priorities including remote learning.
“Manitoba will be working closely with divisions, schools and stakeholders to assess where additional financial contributions are needed and will invest in order to meet these needs to ensure learning continues, while maintaining a focus on health, wellness and student achievement,” said Goertzen. “We are continuing with the plan to focus this funding on the public health measures needed to keep students and staff as safe as possible while learning.”
For up-to-date information on the Restoring Safe Schools plan, visit edu.gov.mb.ca.