Most education cash returned to school boards goes to teachers

More than half of the $107 million returned to education funding by the Alberta government has gone to hiring teachers.

EDMONTON — More than half of the $107 million returned to education funding by the Alberta government has gone to hiring teachers.

The government says school boards spent $65 million to hire more than 600 teachers.

Another $23 million was spent on about 400 additional teachers’ aides.

But the Alberta Teachers’ Association says there are still 480 fewer full-time positions than there were last year, even though the student population has increased by 1.1 per cent.

Within days of becoming premier in October, Alison Redford returned the money that had been cut from the education budget.

It was up to school jurisdictions to determine how they would spend their share of the cash.

“Classroom conditions are deteriorating because some school boards are choosing not to focus spending on students,” Henderson said in a release.

“The government has now lived up to their funding commitments and yet again some school boards are squirrelling away funds instead of investing in classrooms.”

Henderson said the money should have ensured smaller class sizes and enhanced student support.