News / Edmonton

Alberta Education Minister responds to controversial Red Deer school board vote

Red Deer public board votes to lobby for single publicy-funded school system

Alberta education minister David Eggen.

Metro File

Alberta education minister David Eggen.

Alberta education minister David Eggen says he wants to see more collaboration between school boards, after Red Deer’s public board voted to lobby the province for a single publicly-funded school system.

The Red Deer board voted 4-3 in favour of the motion Wednesday, which would effectively favour defunding Catholic schools.

“I’ve been pushing hard for school boards to co-operate in regards to transportation and procurement, even physical buildings,” Eggen said Friday. “People can retain their faith … as protected by the constitution, but you’ve got to be creative too. I encourage people to always talk and to co-operate.”

Eggen did not, however, say he was in favour of a single publicly-funded system.

The possibility of ending public funds for Catholic schools has been a popular topic in recent months.

Former education minister David King launched a campaign for a single system in March, and Edmonton Public School Board Trustee Michael Janz suggested in February that public schools could offer Catholic education.

Edmonton Public Schools spokesperson said Friday that Edmonton’s public board has “no formal position” on the issue.

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