Officials with P.E.I.'s francophone school board say enrolment continues to grow — and so does the need for more funding to support that growth.
Enrolment is now at more than 1,000 students and most of the six schools are seeing an increase after promotional efforts with the Department of Education.
Chair of the French Language School Board Gilles Benoit said the board needs more funding to support its growing student population.
"If a school needs extra teachers or extra resources we have to address those needs," he said.
A lot of our students get in kindergarten and they don't have the language yet. — Gilles Benoit, French Language School Board
A committee was formed to determine the main needs for the schools, which Benoit said he hopes to present in a meeting with the premier. The big priority is busing, as some students have a ride of more than an hour and a half to get to school.
The school board also hopes to offer more variety of courses at the high school level and additional francophone cultural offerings.
"We want to be able to give our students the opportunity to have courses in carpentry, electricity, things like that and right now we are not able to because we don't have the resources to do it," Benoit said.
A big challenge is the need to immerse English-speaking students in the French language when they start school. Many Island children who speak limited or no French have charter rights to attend a French-language school through a parent.
"A lot of our students get in kindergarten and they don't have the language yet," he said.
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