CALGARY - Alberta premier-designate Alison Redford says she wants to give school boards more stable funding to avoid the ups and downs of annual budgets.
"As we move forward we will ensure that school boards have a three-year commitment so they can make longer-term decisions," Redford wrote Wednesday during a live question-and-answer session on the Internet.
Her pledge for three-year school board budgets follows a promise she has already made to quickly restore $107 million that was cut earlier this year from education.
The Alberta School Boards Association has been lobbying the province for more predictable multi-year budgeting. Last year the association passed a formal motion that said stable funding would help students from preschool to Grade 12.
Association president Jacquie Hansen welcomes Redford's latest pledge. She says students would benefit from an education system that didn't have to hire and then lay off teachers or abruptly cancel programs.
"It is great news and what is great is we are being heard, which is terrific," said Hansen, who speaks for 62 public, Catholic and francophone school boards.
"When we can plan for our kids, we can assess along the way and improve better. It is critical to the work that we do."
Redford also wrote during the online chat that she expects to call a provincial election within one year, possibly in June, that may include Internet voting.
She is trying to put together a cabinet made of people who have fresh ideas and can work together, she said. Redford is expected to name her inner circle next week.
"I want to appoint ministers that have respect for different points of view and who can integrate public policy planning across ministries."
Redford was to attend the funeral of her mother Wednesday afternoon and is to be sworn in as premier on Friday.