Over 500 students cut class to protest education funding at Alberta legislature

About 500 Edmonton high school students have skipped class to protest underfunding in education.

EDMONTON — About 500 Edmonton high school students have skipped class to protest underfunding in education.

The students, many bused in on transports provided by unions, listened to speeches and music from a rock band on the steps of the Alberta legislature.

Many waved protest signs that read “Taking Back Our Education,” some splashed around in the legislature wading pool, and a few brought their skateboards.

Organizers say it’s time to call attention to years of underfunding that is sapping the system of its vital resources.

Alberta’s opposition NDP and Liberals were on hand to show their support, but no one from Premier Alison Redford’s Conservative government was there.

Kim Capstick, spokesman for Education Minister Jeff Johnson, says the students’ have the right to protest, but adds the province is spending $35 million each school day on education and hiked the department’s budget three per cent this year.