WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has established a $100 million Safe Schools fund for when students return to classes on September 8.
The province says $48 million is coming from previously announced savings rendered when schools closed in March owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional $52 million in new funding is also being made available to school divisions.
“This additional investment in our education system will support our Restoring Safe Schools plan to help ensure our schools remain a safe, familiar place for our students and staff,” said Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen.
“We know that our education system needs to be ready to deal with today’s pandemic reality as students and staff return to the classroom, and our government is delivering the financial support to help school divisions meet that need.”
Goertzen says the funding will focus on putting public health measures in place needed to keep students and staff safe while learning. The additional funding will be distributed on a per-student basis, with a portion of it to be held in reserve to be able to quickly respond to emerging challenges.
The funding will also be used for:
• Providing non-medical and medical masks and personal protective equipment for students, teachers and staff
• Enhancing cleaning and sanitization, including more supplies and custodial staffing
• Increasing bus transportation capacity, including additional bus drivers and routes
• Ensuring substitute teachers and educational staff are available to keep schools open and children learning