Prentice will re-prioritize infrastructure to build schools for growing population

Edmonton – Alberta must build more schools to ensure the growing number of students in our province have access to high quality education, said PC Leadership Candidate Jim Prentice at a speech this morning.

“I have talked with parents across our province and I am constantly hearing the same issue; Alberta doesn’t have enough schools to accommodate the influx of new students in our province,” said Prentice. “Alberta is the leading the country in economic growth, and our population is increasing at an unprecedented rate of 100,000 people each year, which means each year we need classrooms for 20,000 new students.”

“Already there is a pledge from the province to build 50 schools and modernize 70 more,” said Prentice. “I will stand by that pledge and deliver on it. But I am hearing across Alberta that as many as 40 to 50 additional schools may be required on a pressing basis.”

“Under my leadership, we will re-prioritize the capital infrastructure plan,” said Prentice. “We will allocate the necessary dollars and work with municipalities and school boards to get shovels inthe ground and get these schools built.”

“As Premier, I will be governed at all times by what is in the best interests of our children. Although I have consulted broadly – and will continue to do so, speaking with teachers and trustees – it is my belief that the people who truly know what is in the best interests of school children are their parents,” said Prentice. “There will be no major overhauls of curriculum until I am satisfied that those changes are in the best interests of our students. I will seek the advice and opinion of parents as well as educators, as to whether such major changes have merit and are workable.”

Over the next three months, Prentice will continue traveling across the province working with Albertans on collaborative and creative solutions to ensure the next generation receives the highest quality education possible.