Posted on Jun 24, 2019

Calgary Board of Education to cut $22 million from schools, teach 1,800 more students

The Minister of Education is lying when she says there will be no impacts to classrooms at the Calgary Board of Education this fall, says the Alberta NDP Opposition.

Joined by the President of the Alberta Teachers’ Association Local 38, Education Critic Sarah Hoffman pointed the province’s largest school board plans to cut $22 million from its school budgets all the while dealing with an expected enrolment surge of 1,800 additional students. 

“The Minister really struggles with math it seems,” Hoffman said. “How exactly are you going to cut $22 million, teach more students and not impact learning? It doesn’t add up.”

Last week, the Minister attempted to claim that the CBE wouldn’t be negatively impacted by her bungling of the education file. While the province has said it will fund enrolment, there has been no further information provided to school boards, said Bob Cocking, President of the ATA Local.

“Schools are staffed now, not in the fall - adding funding and staff after school starts would be very messy,” Cocking said. “Cutting $22 million is the equivalent of 220 teaching positions. Principals feel just awful with having to make some of the toughest decisions they have every had to make as an administrator.”

The province is due to eliminate the Classroom Improvement Fund, which would have funded 400 additional teachers this fall across the province to address specific areas of student need.  At the CBE, for example, nearly half of the school-based Math Coaches will be lost. 

It also appears the School Nutrition Pilot Program will come to an end - that program was providing 33,000 students with a healthy meal every day.“This government is all about tax giveaways to wealthy corporations - and our kids are the collateral damage,” Hoffman said.