Budget 2023 will support schools as enrolment numbers continue to increase across the province.
The provincial government is investing $820 million over three years to support increasing student enrolments in 2023.
“As one of the fastest-growing school divisions in the province, the funds provided for enrolment growth will help Rocky View Schools hire more staff to support the 1,000 new students we will welcome in the fall. Knowing additional funding will be available is positive news, as RVS continues to experience increasing enrolment pressures across the division,” Rocky View Schools board chair Norma Lang said.
“With Alberta’s rising population, we know many school authorities across the province continue to face growing enrolment pressures. Our strong funding commitment in Budget 2023 will empower school authorities to hire more teachers and obtain more resources for students,” Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange said.
Over three years, education operating expenses are expected to increase by nearly $2 billion, which will support education staff, teachers, educational assistants, bus drivers, and school support staff, a government of Alberta media release said.
The funding increase will allow school authorities to receive grants, including the Early Childhood Services and Grades 1-9 Base Instruction grant, the High School Base Instruction grant, Specialized Learning Support, English as an Additional Language, and Program Unit Funding.
An operations and maintenance grant will also give school authorities the flexibility to decide how to use the funding to best support their students, the release said.
School authorities were given the funding manual for the 2023/24 school year to review funding information for the coming year.
“ASBA is pleased that government has been responsive to school boards’ requests for early release of the funding manual and operational funding profiles, as it assists in informed decision-making. Government’s investment in enrolment growth is welcome news as boards address the growing, diverse and complex student needs within their divisions while remaining accountable to their communities,” said Alberta School Boards Association president Marilyn Dennis.
Last year, the supplemental enrolment growth grant allocated more than $21 million to schools with significant enrolment growth.
In the 2020/21 school year, school boards were funded for about 730,000 students, with enrolment at 705,000. In the 2021/22 school year, student enrolment increased to about 716,000.