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Budget 2022: Investing in school choice

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Students will benefit from more choice in education and programming to develop the skills and knowledge they need for the careers of tomorrow.

Alberta’s government is investing $25 million in operating funding and $47 million in capital investment over the next three years to support public charter school expansions and collegiate programs in the education system, as part of Budget 2022.

Expanding public charter schools

This funding will allow existing public charter schools to grow and ensure new public charter schools have the spaces they need to deliver educational programming for students. This funding will support planning dollars to explore a charter campus model which could support multiple public charter schools to share specialized spaces for career and technology studies, science labs or gymnasiums. This funding will also support Aurora Academic Charter School and others in their effort to expand.

“Albertans support school choice. Through public charter and collegiate schools, this government will provide Albertans with more specialized and vocational learning opportunities in areas like science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the trades. This will help students achieve their potential and prepare them for their next steps in life.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Public charter schools play an important role in Alberta’s education system by offering unique programming to students. Whether they attend a public, separate, francophone, independent, public charter or home education, our education system will continue to support the educational choice of students and their parents. This investment builds on our commitment to strengthening Alberta’s long and successful tradition of providing choice in education.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

“These changes are another step in a two-and-a-half-year journey towards providing public charter schools fair, responsible access to critical capital funding. The changes recognize a quarter century of successful contribution to Albertans and the Alberta education system. A sensible, well-regulated public charter system that is strong and free to innovate helps stimulate all school boards to be creative in their delivery of student learning and be truly responsive and accountable to the Albertans they serve.”

Ron Koper, chair, The Association of Alberta’s Public Charter Schools

“Aurora is grateful the provincial government is recognizing the need for additional student spaces of Alberta’s public charter schools. A lack of student spaces is the single largest barrier to the ability of public charter schools to accept more students. Investing in public charter schools will create additional opportunities for more students to pursue their passions, leading to greater engagement in school, more pathways into post-secondary education and ultimately greater contribution to our province.”

Arlene Huhn, chair, Aurora Academic Charter School

Collegiate schools

In addition to the expansion of public charter schools, a collegiate model will be used to create new opportunities for more specialized and focused programming than can be offered by traditional schools. Collegiate schools bring together students with similar interests to support enriched programming and enhanced learning opportunities which may not be found to the same degree in general education streams. These schools are supported by post-secondary and industry partners to help create clearer pathways for students into post-secondary education and career options that are in high demand.

Quick facts

  • Public charter schools are autonomous non-profit public schools that receive the same base instruction allocation as public, separate and francophone school authorities.
  • A public charter school is intended to focus on a particular learning style, teaching style, approach, philosophy or pedagogy that is not already offered by a school division.
  • Public charter schools cannot deny access to any student if sufficient space and resources are available.
  • Public charter schools can not charge tuition fees. However, they may charge fees and costs in alignment with the Education Act, like other public school authorities.
  • Public charter schools serve 1.5 per cent of the student population in the province, with a total enrolment of more than 10,000 students in 15 charter schools.
    • Only 1.2 per cent of operational funding is allocated to support the 1.5 per cent of Alberta students who chose to attend charter schools.
    • In comparison, 94.7 per cent of operational funding goes to public, separate or francophone schools who serve only 92.2 per cent of the total student population.
  • Public charter schools were established in 1994 as part of an initiative to increase program choices available to Alberta parents and to stimulate innovation in the education system.
  • Aurora Academic Charter School received ministerial approval to serve students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 in 1996. However, due to limited student space, it has only offered Kindergarten to Grade 9 programming, with plans to expand to include high school grades very soon.

The 2022 Capital Plan invests $2 billion over three years to support new school projects, continue work on previously announced projects, maintain existing schools and support charter school infrastructure, including collegiate programs.

Budget 2022 moves Alberta forward towards personal and economic prosperity by developing the talents and skills of our workforce and providing opportunities for all Albertans to succeed and thrive.

Public Charter schools in Alberta:


Charter Focus



Almadina Language
Charter Academy

English as a second language



Aurora Academic Charter School

Traditional education



Boyle Street Education Centre

At-risk youth



Calgary Arts Academy

Arts immersion



Calgary Classical Academy*

Traditional liberal arts and character education



Calgary Girls’ School

All-girls, focused on fostering competent, confident and caring young women



Centre for Academic and Personal Excellence (CAPE)

Integrated and individualized program for intellectually capable underachievers

Medicine Hat


Connect Charter School

Inquiry-based, technology rich with outdoor and experiential education



Foundations for the Future Charter Academy

Academic excellence and character education



Mother Earth’s Children's Charter School

Traditional Indigenous teachings

Stony Plain (Genesee)


New Horizons Charter School

Gifted education

Sherwood Park


New Humble Community School

Rural education with a focus on agricultural literacy and leadership

New Humble Centre near Calmar


Suzuki Charter School

Suzuki approach to academic, musical and personal excellence



The STEM Innovation Academy

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with emphasis on cutting edge technologies



Valhalla Charter School

Rural leadership and French as a second language through direct instruction



Westmount Charter School

Gifted education



*Opening for the 2022-23 school year

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