Teachers in Alberta are concerned about possible budget cuts as oil prices continue to drop and the government face potential budget shortfalls. Wood Buffalo is one of the areas which could be impacted if the new 2015 budget cuts school and teacher funding. According to Mark Ramsankar, who is the president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, “The greatest source of frustration I hear from teachers is they are unable to reach the children in the classroom with the resources available. They know the needs of the children, but they can’t reach them because they don’t have the resources. The impact the projected cuts will have on education and the classroom in general, we believe, will be devastating.” Jim Prentice has already warned that coming budget cuts could be almost 10%, and that is a significant amount.
When discussing the needs of teachers and the potential budget cuts Ramsankar also said “When we look at the pressures teachers are under, it’s about making sure they have the opportunity to really extend the education system. What we’re trying to do is give students a fighting chance for their futures. To simply turn it back and suggest teachers whine about these conditions is overstated.” Wood Buffalo already has a high cost of living, and new teachers do not make a lot of money. In addition there is already a lack of resources for teachers in Wood Buffalo, and budget cuts could just make things worse for teachers and students both because some schools have high populations while others continuously scout for new students.