Public school space crunch riles parents at board meeting
Parents tell trustees they are fed up with fighting to get their children into neighbourhood schools
Emotions ran high at a meeting of Calgary’s public school board Tuesday night as trustees heard from parents frustrated with the shortage of spaces for their children
Enrolment across the city is skyrocketing, leaving many parents unable to get their children into their neighbourhood schools.
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Parent Jan Nicholson told the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) public forum that the lack of space is turning families against each other.
“I have neighbours that don't have kids in the school and they are fighting for a position for their kids to get it, where as we are fighting to keep our kids in the school as well,” she said.
“So we have neighbours right beside us that are our friends that are on different sides of the scenario, it's causing the divide in our community as a result of that.”
Chair Sheila Taylor said the board would like to build more schools, but that requires money.
“At the end of the day for us it comes down to funding and we are funded for all of our new capital projects — new schools, modernizations — from the province."
Several parents at the forum suggested the board try outside-the-box solutions, such as more portable classrooms, modular schools and partnerships with the local business community.
But a motion put forward by Taylor to consult with the community about alternative funding options was defeated.