Redford vows to restore education funding
Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Alison Redford says if she becomes premier she'll reverse education funding cuts that forced Alberta school boards to lay off hundreds of teachers.
"I will commit to restoring the education cuts made in the 2011/2012 budget within 10 days of being sworn in as Premier," Redford said in a letter she is presenting to the Alberta Teachers' Association on Thursday.
"The restoration of this funding will allow school boards to hire back teachers and support staff laid off this summer. This, in turn, will reduce class size to a more manageable level. In consideration of the funding restoration, I will request that school boards also roll back fee increases passed onto parents this fall."
Redford adds that she will fund education on three-year cycles if she becomes premier.
Education funding increased in this year's provincial budget but most of the increase went towards a 4.5 per cent pay increase in teachers' salaries, that was part of the five-year collective bargaining agreement the province reached with the ATA in 2007.
School boards were faced with multi-million dollar deficits as a result.
Redford is one of three remaining candidates in the race to become Tory leader. Party members can choose between Redford, Doug Horner and Gary Mar when the second ballot is held Oct. 1.
The winner will replace outgoing Tory leader Ed Stelmach as Alberta premier.