The Foothills School Divsion (FSD) will be receiving some much-needed relief funding.
They've been notified that Alberta Education is committing $226,463 to their increased insurance costs.
According to the division, their rates have gone up 400 per cent since 2019, which equates to about $2 million a year, and has largely impacted their operational budget.
Assistant superintendent Drew Chipman says this won't completely relieve that pressure, but it's much appreciated.
"When you're talking about just under a quarter million dollars, those are real dollars that we're able to make sure can go back into the classroom, back into the system. It's welcome. Yes, we did ask for additional dollars, but any money is key. We certainly appreciate the support we've received from MLAs, from parents and staff members advocating on behalf of the school division. It was really a team effort to have the province recognize this need. We're very pleased we're able to put some dollars back into the system."
The division has launched an advocacy page, where parents and other community members can see what FSD's priorities are and join in advocating for them.
The page includes draft letters that can be signed and forwarded to provincial officials.
FSD will continue that advocation in multiple areas and will invite community members to do the same.
"We're still advocating for a new high school in Okotoks, we're advocating for some transportation funding, we're advocating for a mental health and awareness piece. Lots of things going on and lots of opportunities to get better and do things differently. That's really what started this advocacy page, to get parents involved, really educate them on what our challenges are, and to get their support."
As for their insurance rates, FSD is optimistic it will level out but is prepared for further increases.
"Next year it'll have been 10 years since the flood and hopefully our insurance ratings will improve as a result of that coming off, so we anticipate having some reductions due to that calculation. If we're in the same boat, we'll certainly be talking to MLAs and Alberta Education and the minister again because it is an important issue for us."