Edmonton's two school boards are hiring back teachers to cope with a surprise increase in student enrollment.

The public and Catholic boards each have one thousand students more than forecasted.

"We definitely feel we got a lot more than our share so, yeah, it was definitely more than we had expected," said Debbie Engel, chairwoman of the Edmonton Catholic School Board.

A $9.6 million deficit forced the Catholic school board to lay off 97 teachers last summer. Engel said the increase in enrollment allowed them to reinstate 30 positions.

In June, the public board had to lay off 229 teachers to make up $14 million budget shortfall. Now they are bringing some of those people back.

"We have dozens more teachers now than we were planning to have last spring," Superintendent Edgar Schmidt said.

The increase in student numbers, seen mostly in the suburbs, has led to classes with as many as 25 students.

Last week, there were more than 40 students in a Math 10 class at Victoria School for the Performing Arts. Some students had to stand as there weren't enough desks in the room to accommodate everyone. 

"I didn't know there was so many people in the school that had to be crammed into this one class," student Gareth Gilliland said. "I was just shocked."