Alberta cutting $80 million from education budget

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is slashing this year’s education budget by $80 million as the province grapples with a record $7 billion budget deficit.

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is slashing this year’s education budget by $80 million as the province grapples with a record $7 billion budget deficit.

Education Minister Dave Hancock outlined details of the cost-cutting measures in a conference call Thursday with the province’s 62 school boards.

“The province needs to find $430 million this year fiscal year and make a $2 billion correction for (next year),” Hancock told a telephone news conference Thursday.

“The ministries have been asked to find savings to offset the projected revenue shortfall.”

The minister said $56 million will come from school boards and the rest from changes to school support programs, including one that helps with the cost of fuel for school buses. The rest of the savings would be made within the education ministry.

But about half of the total savings, or $44 million, will be achieved by clawing back money that school boards were given in the past but have yet to spend.

Hancock calls this surplus money, while the school boards argue it is simply being set aside to pay for projects already approved or staff that have yet to be hired.

He also warned school boards to prepare for significant budget cuts next year as the province scrambles to trim $2 billion from its growing deficit.

Both the union representing teachers and the Alberta School Boards Association say they’re worried about what next year’s cuts will mean for both students and jobs.

“My fear is the bigger cuts are yet to come,” said Heather Welwood, president of the Alberta School Boards Association. “But at some point we need to prioritize.”

“We’re talking about young people and our future in this province,” said Welwood. “How far do we look to other sources to help school boards out so the students aren’t the ones to suffer?”

The teachers’ union is cautioning that deep cuts will have a negative impact on classrooms. Carol Henderson, president of the Alberta Teachers Association, said major cuts would almost certainly mean lost jobs and seniority would protect many of the older teachers.

“There would probably be cuts to teaching staff and that’s always our young teachers,” said Henderson.

“We want our young teachers, they revive the profession, they’re going to be there when we have a lot of teachers retiring,” she said. “So it would be unhealthy for the teaching profession to lose a lot of beginning teachers.”

Just Posted

More police presence in Red Deer’s downtown starts this month

“We recognize… that citizens are concerned about safety,” said Mayor Veer

Red Deer RCMP look for fraud suspect

Purse stolen from fitness locker

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

Restaurant closed after compliance team patrol

Public Safety Compliance Team checked eight bars and restaurants on Oct. 19

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Montreal Alouettes defensive lineman Woody Baron co-authors children’s book

TORONTO — Woody Baron finds the spectre of tangling with a hulking… Continue reading

Sundin not surprised Leafs asking stars to take less money to stay together

TORONTO — Mats Sundin isn’t surprised the Toronto Maple Leafs are asking… Continue reading

Anywhere but Washington: Why DC stories rarely film in DC

WASHINGTON — It’s a hobby among District of Columbia locals: Picking apart… Continue reading

‘Halloween’ scares up $77.5 million in ticket sales

LOS ANGELES — Forty years after he first appeared in theatres, Michael… Continue reading

iPhone XR makes the right trade-offs for a cheaper price

NEW YORK — Apple offers you a simple trade-off with its new… Continue reading

BMW to recall 1.6 million vehicles worldwide over fire risk

FRANKFURT — Automaker BMW says it is expanding a recall to cover… Continue reading

Calgary awaits federal financing on 2026, Notley suggests IOC could pay more

CALGARY — With the clock ticking towards a Calgary vote on hosting… Continue reading

Toronto Mayor John Tory cruises to victory; tech issues extend voting elsewhere

Toronto Mayor John Tory easily won re-election on Monday after a spirited… Continue reading

Most Read