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Continued funding could mean more teachers in Grande Prairie

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The province is investing nearly $2.5 million in students in the Grande Prairie area. Education Minister David Eggen announced plans to continue the Classroom Improvement Fund (CIF) late last week.

It was included in budgets across the province for the 2017-18 school year as part of an agreement between the union and the Alberta Teacher’s Association (ATA). The province says the funding will continue in 2018-19 school year.

It has enabled school boards to hire additional staff and provide more supports to students something the province hopes will continue. Eggen says that funding will continue to help with growth seen across the province.

“It’s a natural progression to meet the needs of our growing population. I don’t have to tell people in Grande Prairie that we’re a super young population. People are having kids and buying houses, starting families. We know that this is an indication of a positive economy.”

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A new catholic elementary school was announced for the O’Brien Lakes area this spring. Eggen says they are also working on long-term plans to ensure there are high schools for kids to grown into as well. He says the city has been generous with land because “they know what’s coming.”

“It helps to not just educate kids but it builds community, right? People will be more likely to move to a place and put down roots if the schools are there, the infrastructure is there and people are feeling settled.”

He says there are currently 190 projects on the go around Alberta.

Grande Prairie Catholic School Division will be receiving $649,300, Grande Prairie Public School Division will be getting $994,400 and Peace Wapiti School Division will receive $730,400. Funding is calculated based on enrollment.

A total of $77 million will be distributed across the province, an increase of $2 million over last year.

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