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Edmonton Public Schools to emphasize new facilities over upgrades in future funding requests

CTV Edmonton: Coping with over-capacity schools
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Edmonton Public Schools says it is changing its funding priorities to emphasize the construction of new schools at the expense of upgrading existing facilities.

The change comes after the most recent provincial budget announced funding to build two new Catholic schools in the Edmonton area, but no funding for new Public schools.

“We are a fast-growing division. We have been passed over for two years from this provincial government for new school builds and this plan shows clearly once again to the provincial government that Edmonton Public needs funding to build new schools,” said Edmonton Public Schools Board Chair Trisha Estabrooks.

“We needed it yesterday.”

Edmonton Public pitched the province on funding a replacement facility for a school in the Delton neighbourhood.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange rejected that proposal earlier this month.

“I’m instructing my department to work with Edmonton school division to look at their prioritization of projects,” she told reporters on March 4.

Estabrooks has said that without new funding enrollment growth will outpace the board’s capacity by 24,000 students within a decade.

Fifteen education infrastructure projects were announced as part of the Alberta government’s Budget 2022, with new schools planned for Calgary, Manning as well as the two Catholic schools in Edmonton.

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