Canadian Union of Public Employees

Edmonton Public Schools Support Staff

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NDP targets education minister over school budgets

Opposition Leader Rachel Notley is calling on the education minister to pull up her socks or be replaced, claiming she has failed to provide school boards with adequate information to plan their budgets.

Unsure of how much money they have to work with during the next year, school boards across Alberta have been approving budgets based on assumptions — not all of which are consistent.

Teachers with the Calgary Board of Education are warning that Alberta’s largest school district will have 220 fewer teachers next year as it grows by 1,800 students, while Edmonton Public Schools is trimming some non-teaching professionals to balance its budget.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said Wednesday she told school boards the new government is “keeping the system whole” until it introduces a provincial budget later this fall.

Notley countered that boards are scrambling because LaGrange has neglected to provide them with balance sheets projecting how much money they can expect to receive next year.

Show me the money

The practice of posting political staffer contracts online hasn’t yet been embraced by the UCP, but they say they’re on their way.

The page that usually displays contracts on Wednesday read, “Due to the government transition, contracts of Premier and Minister’s office staff are not available at this time.”

Christine Myatt with the premier’s office said staff are still being hired. Once that process is complete, she said, her government will focus on posting contracts online.

Edmonton Journal June 27, 2019