Board discusses longer school days to cut costs after budget shortfall
EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Public School Board is thinking about making school days slightly longer as a cost-cutting measure.
Elementary and junior high students are required to spend 950 hours in the classroom, with high school students an additional 50 hours, but there isn't a requirement for a total of days.
At its board meeting Tuesday, members discussed the possibility to extend each school day by "a small amount." In turn, there would be fewer school days — which EPSB says would save it approximately $150,000 per day in staffing and fuel costs.
The division says it would also save another $2 million by having teachers attend professional learning opportunities on days where children are not in school.
To get up to the required hours and reduce the calendar by one day, EPSB says it would only need to add two minutes to each school day.
"Government was elected to maintain or increase funding to education and now as a way of meeting, of dealing with the cuts to education, we're now looking at ways that we can mitigate cost savings by literally cancelling school days," board member Michael Janz said.
In its 2019 budget, the UCP government maintained its education spending at $8.2 billion until 2022-23.
Edmonton Public Schools says that decision will cause them a $34.4-million shortfall.