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Education cuts will stay while the province may focus on fixing its roads. ((CBC))

New Brunswick's premier says he has no flexibility to ease off on cuts to education, despite roadwork in the province possibly costing tens of millions of dollars less than expected.

One school district in New Brunswick is refusing to implement a two per cent funding cut this year and two others say although they've done it this year, they can't next year — when the Conservative government wants another two per cent cut.

Premier David Alward said even if the province's finances improve, the cuts must continue.

"All departments have a responsibility to provide the services that the people of New Brunswick need, especially our children, and in a way we can afford to do it."

Saving money on road fixes

One department's bottom line is already looking better: Bids for road construction projects are coming in 20 per cent below what was expected.

That could mean savings of $60 million.

But Transportation Minister Claude Williams said that money won't be put on the deficit or transferred to education to avoid school cuts.

"The fact that the tenders are coming below the estimate, this is a good opportunity to re-invest more in roads in New Brunswick."

Those road projects were not considered necessary in March.