For the first time in over 20 years, the Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) did not receive any funding from Alberta Education in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023.
Since 1994 (some 30 years) school councils have been Alberta’s legislated mechanism (Education Act, Section 55) intended to bring parents, guardians, families, and other school community members together to collaboratively work to improve students’ success.
Over 700,0001 students in Alberta’s K-12 education system rely on knowledgeable, informed, engaged parents, guardians, and families to guide and support their success in classrooms, schools, and life.
Alberta’s students in public, separate, francophone, and charter schools historically relied on ASCA to provide – AT NO COST - knowledge and skill development to those dedicated volunteers and staff serving school councils to support students.
Previously, ASCA received funding (approx. $700,000 or $1 per student) through Alberta Education conditional grants, to ensure open, easy, and free access to and availability of ASCA materials, templates, tip sheets, workshops, and experienced, skilled staff members and contractors.
In 2021, the government changed funding to go directly to school councils through the Alberta School Council Engagement (ASCE) Grant, giving each school council in the province $500 per year to support and fulfill their legislated responsibilities in the education system and enhancing parent engagement in the school community.
ASCA had to modify its business model to align with the new funding approach, and depends on the $500 in order to sustainably deliver essential services and supports to all school councils in Alberta.
1400 School Councils x $500 = $700,000.
(average 23 school councils attending group Learning Opportunities from each School Division, utilizing the ASCE grant money)
ASCA offers online Learning Opportunities, scheduled weekly throughout the year (September 2023 to June 2024) with skills and knowledge development for school councils to understand their legislated role, increase capacity, and enhance parent engagement in the school community.
ASCA is asking School Divisions to assist with expediting the ASCE grant funds to their school councils and encourage early registrations in ASCA Learning Opportunities.
For almost 95 years, ASCA has been “the home and school connection”, providing resources, supports, services and learning opportunities to enhance parent engagement and school council effectiveness. The ASCA Board of Directors continues its commitment to ensure the Association remains relevant, sustainable, autonomous, and innovative.
Additional revenue sources for the Association are being sought through fund development initiatives, Corporate Sponsorship opportunities, events, donations, and various grant applications.
ASCA looks forward to continue providing access to information, materials, and resources for parents, guardians, and families to be knowledgeable, informed and engaged in supporting Alberta’s K-12 students.
Thank you for your support!!
1 https://www.alberta.ca/student-population-statistics.aspx public, separate, francophone, charter = 706,463 22/23