EDMONTON, AB (February 24, 2015): Alberta Liberal Education Critic Kent Hehr says the PC government’s chronic underfunding of our education system is hurting teachers and students.
“Since this government slashed the education budget five years ago, the system has been lurching from one potential crisis to another,” says Hehr. “Now, we are staring down the barrel of another austerity budget and deeper cuts.
“We simply cannot afford to keep tying children’s education to the price of oil.”
The Alberta Teachers’ Association is also warning that a 5% cut to the education budget could result in 2,500 teachers losing their jobs.
“That would be a disaster,” says Hehr. “The government should not be balancing the books on the backs of our children’s future.”
“Our classrooms are already overcrowded due to a lack of space and teachers,” says Hehr. “More layoffs would simply exacerbate this problem, and our students are going to pay the price.”
Alberta Liberals say the government should actually be considering increasing the education budget following the last five years of cuts, especially to adjust for inflation and population growth.
“Now is the time to invest in education in order to protect young families in this province,” says Hehr. “Slashing the budget will end up costing all of us more in the long run. It will damage our economy and our society, and it will shortchange our children’s future.”
Alberta Liberals believe in making investment in education a priority by fully funding all-day kindergarten, establishing a school lunch program, granting a tax credit for teachers, and building schools as community hubs.