Editor’s note: This article originally stated the teachers’ agreement expires in April 2019. However, the agreement expires in August 2018.
A new Alberta Teachers’ Association campaign is putting the contentious issue of class sizes into the spotlight in the lead up to the next election.
Education Minister David Eggen says he understands the desire for smaller classes but adds those costs must be balanced within the larger provincial picture.
“The economy is starting to improve here in Alberta, but the revenues for the government are not,” Eggen said in an interview with Global News on Monday.
Still, the minister says the government has put millions into education. Eggen also says the system is in a much better place under the current government than it would be under its opponents.
“I’ve put in more than $970 million… than the previous government would have through meeting enrolment targets. If you look over the horizon… I know Jason Kenney is talking about cutting 20 per cent out of a ministry like education, which would result in devastating increases in class size increases.”
The minister says the last contract between the teachers and the province had approximately $72 million for improving classroom conditions. That includes things like hiring more teachers and support staff.
Teachers’ current collective agreement expires August 2018, right in time for the next election.