Edmonton boards unhappy with Redford school plan
Three new schools announced for southwest Edmonton
Edmonton school boards are disappointed with the Redford government's announcement for three new schools in the city.
The new schools — two public, one Catholic — will all be located in the high-growth area of southwest Edmonton.
The schools,Terwillegar Heights K-9 for 900 students, Heritage Valley K-6 for 600 students, and Lewis Farms Catholic K-9 for 750 students will open in 2016.
The schools won't meet the public school board's needs over the next few years, said chair Sarah Hoffman.
She thinks the province should be doing more in the Edmonton-area.
"I would be disingenuous if I didn't admit that, after the announcements all throughout the week and especially yesterday's in Calgary -- where Calgary did get... nine new schools -- I was surprised to hear that we're only getting three in Edmonton."
She also said more needs to be done to modernize existing schools.
Catholic school board chair Becky Kalall said she was also very disappointed with Thursday's announcement —especially Calgary got nine new schools.
But Alberta’s Education Minister Jeff Johnson says it’s all about prioritizing.
"Different areas of the province have different growth pressures, so we're looking at areas of the province based on their growth pressures, and based on their demand -- not based on each municipality and each board getting an equal number of schools."
Johnson’s argument mirrored earlier statements made by Premier Alison Redford.
"What we've done...is identify communities that actually had absolutely no education infrastructure and we moved in to invest in those areas," she said.
The province also will build two new schools in St. Albert and one each for Leduc and Spruce Grove. Fultonvale school in Strathcona County will be modernized.
Over the week the government announced 30 new schools across the province, the first step toward Redford's $500-million election promise of 50 news schools and 70 modernizations over the next three years.