October 27, 2015
Funding Supports under Budget 2015
In 2015-16, Education’s total budget is $8.9 billion. This includes $7.6 billion in consolidated operating expenses and $1.3 billion in capital commitments.
Operating Support to School Boards
Total operating support to school boards reaches $6.6 billion in the 2015-16 fiscal year. Of the total operating budget, 98 per cent flows to school authorities who deliver education services to students.
Budget 2015 provides for projected enrolment growth funding in the 2015-16 school year.
Honour Teacher Framework Agreement
Funding honours the final year of the four-year teacher agreement with the Alberta Teachers’ Association – which includes a two per cent increase in teacher compensation costs ($84 million full-year cost) and a one per cent lump sum payment to teachers in December 2015 ($40 million cost).
Teacher costs comprise almost 60 per cent of a board’s overall budget. School boards have budgeted $4.2 billion in teacher compensation costs for the current school year, approximately 10 per cent of the total provincial budget.
Impact on Major Grants and other Funding
- $483 million for plant operations and maintenance to support the day-to-day upkeep of school facilities
- $419 million for Inclusive Education
- $408 million for the current services contributions to Alberta Teachers Retirement Fund
- $291 million to support the transportation system for approximately 300,000 students across Alberta
- $277 million for the small class size initiative to reflect a two per cent grant rate increase and enrolment increase
- $47.6 million to support the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Grant
Total school facility funding reaches $1.3 billion to fund the construction of new schools, modernization of existing schools, a robust modular classroom program, and Infrastructure Maintenance and Renewal (IMR) funding to support boards in their life-cycle management activities of existing schools.
The $1.3 billion in Budget 2015 includes:
- $958 million in funding to support the government’s commitment to build 200 school projects;
- $50 million to support the annual modular classroom program and the completion of other expansion and renewal projects;
- $180 million for IMR funding, an increase of $60 million or 50 per cent over the previous year; and
- $62 million to support the final costs on completed projects, 2013 Alberta Flood, and maintenance of P3 schools.
Total capital investment will be about $4.7 billion over the next five fiscal years, including $909 million for capital maintenance and renewal.
Private Schools and Early Childhood Services (ECS) Operators
Total operating support for private schools and private ECS operators is budgeted at $239 million.
About three per cent of the ministry’s total operating budget is directed to support the operations of accredited funded private schools and private ECS operators in the province.
In order to reduce expenditures in this time of fiscal challenge, our department is doing its part by reducing our head office budget by nine per cent ($15 million).
Through Budget 2015, we are investing $9.3 million so that thousands of First Nations students have access to a high-quality education that prepares them for success—regardless of whether they attend a First Nations school, a provincial school in a nearby community or attend school elsewhere in the province. This funding is intended to enhance, not replace, equitable and comparable federal funding.
The $9.3 million for 2015-16 came from Education’s existing budget in order to make these initiatives a priority.
Actions will help ensure students, who live on-reserve, have comparable opportunities to those who live off-reserve, and will target improvements such as:
- Increased capacity in First Nations schools and education authorities to meet needs of First Nation students;
- Improvements in First Nation student attendance, high school completion rates, and provincial achievement/diploma results;
- Reduced dropout rates; and
- More First Nation students attending post-secondary programs.
Download Education Budget Fact Card