Clearview Public Schools received some good news from the province the week of June 20.
The Government of Alberta announced during the week that they would reinstate the Fuel Contingency Program for school divisions to help offset the rising costs of fuel for transportation.
Announced to be enacted retroactively back to March 2022, the program will be in effect as long as the price of diesel averages over $1.25 per litre in the province and remain in place until at least the end of the 2022/2023 school year.
According to a Clearview Public Schools media release regarding the provincial announcement, the reinstatement of the program could save the school division around $225,000 in fuel for the 2022/2023 school year.
Clearview Public Schools uses around 400,000 litres of fuel, both gas and diesel, per year, with busses running around 7,500 kilometres a day for an average of 1.3 million kilometres per school year.
“This is what we have been advocating for the government to do. Clearview’s Board has, for many months been asking for assistance with the rising cost of fuel because we believe education dollars should be spent in classrooms,” Guy Neitz, board chair, said in the release.
Clearview first advocated for the return of the program in March when the board penned a letter to Education Minister Adriana LaGrange expressing concern about the rapidly increasing fuel prices.
Later, at the Alberta School Boards’ Association Spring General Meeting, Clearview voted in favour of a motion with 100 per cent of the province’s other school boards to request the province bring the contingency program back.
During the recent budgeting process for the upcoming year, Clearview increased the fuel budget to $675,000 from $475,000 at the expense of educational dollars. According to the release, with the return of the contingency program, that money can be returned to the classroom.
“Boards advocate on behalf of school divisions and for students, and Alberta’s school boards sent a pretty clear message to the province in early June,” Said Neitz.