Calgary

Calgary Board of Education cuts 300 temporary teachers' contracts

The Calgary Board of Education has cut 300 temporary teacher contracts after its provincial funding was reduced by $32 million.

Teachers will be added to the substitute teacher roster, CBE says

Calgary Board of Education is ending 300 temporary teaching contracts in the new year. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

The Calgary Board of Education has cut 300 temporary teacher contracts after its provincial funding was reduced by $32 million.

Those contracts will end as of Jan. 2, and teachers will be placed on the substitute roster, chief superintendent Christopher Usih wrote in an email sent to staff on Tuesday. The CBE confirmed the cuts in an emailed statement to CBC News.

Usih said the CBE is also working on other decisions to cover the budget gap and that those decisions will be communicated to students and parents as soon as possible.

"Continuity of learning is important, and we are working to minimize disruption to the greatest extent possible," he wrote.

The board has said the province is funding enrolment growth at $29 million — leaving base funding per student unchanged — but also eliminating three grants totalling $85 million and only partially replacing these cuts with a one-time transition grant of $24 million.

That reduction comes in spite of an enrolment increase of 2,400 students, the equivalent of four large elementary schools.

Bob Cocking, president of ATA Local 38, said in an email the cuts will create a "huge disruption."

"These cuts will hurt so many people and in so many different ways. The torn relationship between the students and their teachers. The demoralized staff of a school. The beginning teachers whose exciting career … has been taken away," he said.

"This is just wrong."

The CBE has also said class sizes and busing fees will likely increase, and schools will see funding reduced. 

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