Overcrowded schools anger Edmonton parents
School board hosts meetings to look for solutions
Frustration is growing over overcrowding at Edmonton's newest public schools and what the school board hopes to do about it.
More than 300 parents attended a public meeting Tuesday night at Jasper Place Composite High School to address the issue, the first of several meetings to be hosted by Edmonton Public Schools.
Bryan Keller and his family moved two years ago to the west-end community The Hamptons, specifically for the schools.
Keller is angry the board is considering shrinking catchment areas and forcing some students to attend schools further away.
"It's frustrating," he said. "I mean I just heard a speaker mention that they knew this was coming. I'm just shaking my head. I mean seems like we do everything backwards."
There have been 46 new neighbourhoods created in Edmonton since 2005, most south and west of Anthony Henday Drive. The children in those neighbourhoods now account for 20 per cent of the total public school population.
But the building of schools in those neighbourhoods has fallen behind.
"I think it's going to be a pretty ugly scene for our area," he said. "I just wish our leadership, whether it be the school board or the City of Edmonton, somebody would do it right the first time."
School officials call the situation critical requiring a long-term plan.
In the meantime they are looking for solutions before next September.
The Board plans to hold four more public meetings, before making a final decision on how to deal with overcrowding at the end of February.
The second meeting is at M.E. LaZerte High School tonight.