Edmonton

Edmonton public schools finalizes budget

The Edmonton Public School Board eliminated almost 350 jobs — most of them teaching positions, while approving next year's budget Tuesday night.

The Edmonton Public School Board eliminated 345 jobs — most of them teaching positions, while approving next year's budget Tuesday night.

Permanent and continuous contract staff will keep their jobs, but young, probationary teachers will bear the brunt of the cuts, said Chair Dave Colburn.

"One has to begin to ask: what is the impact of this uncertain, irregular funding models on the commitment of young people to the teaching profession," he said.

Class sizes will be bigger in the fall, as 229 teaching and 116 non-teaching jobs are eliminated, said Colburn.

The board struggled with a $14 million dollar shortfall in funding from the province.

"One of the stories that has to be told is our concern that this rollercoaster ride of funding is not only causing us to lose some very talented teachers, but these teachers may reconsider their commitment to an education career and may simply opt out," said Colburn.

Colburn said he expects to hear from unhappy parents in the fall.