Alberta promises to fund fall school enrolment growth

The Alberta government is fully funding new students going into grade school classrooms this fall.

Finance Minister Travis Toews made the announcement Monday in response to Opposition questions in the house.

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The NDP have been pushing the United Conservative government for weeks for an answer on the issue.

It said school boards have been forced to begin planning and budgeting for cuts or other cost savings in anticipation of no new funding for extra students in the fall.

Toews did not say how many new students are expected or what the cost of funding them will be.

The NDP estimates there will be another 15,000 pupils in September.

Toews told the house Monday, “I’m pleased to confirm today that proposed enrolment growth will be fully funded for this upcoming year.

“Alberta’s families and students depend on this government to ensure that a high quality of education is delivered, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

In recent weeks, Premier Jason Kenney’s government had been noncommittal on funding enrolment growth.

Kenney has promised not to cut education funding, but has said provincial finances are under heavy pressure due to multibillion-dollar budget deficits and rising debt.

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