Budget 2023 provides more than $820 million over the next three years to support enrolment growth in schools.
Based on strong population growth in Alberta, a large increase in student enrolment is expected in September 2023.
“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.”
Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
Over the next three years, Education’s operating expense is increasing by nearly $2 billion. This will support the hiring of approximately 3,000 education staff, including teachers, educational assistants, bus drivers and school support staff, and will help authorities manage growing class sizes.
Funding increases for enrolment will be provided to school authorities through existing grants that include enrolment components. This includes the Early Childhood Services and Grades 1-9 Base Instruction grant and the High School (Grades 10-12) Base Instruction grant, as well as grants in the services and supports category, such as Specialized Learning Support, English as an Additional Language, and Program Unit Funding. The Operations and Maintenance grant also includes an enrolment component. The flexible funding provided allows local authorities to make decisions on how to best use the funding to support their students.
The Funding Manual for School Authorities 2023/24 School Year and projected operational funding profiles are being released March 9, providing school authorities with their 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.”
Marilyn Dennis, president, Alberta School Boards Association
“This funding announcement is timely and much appreciated. In the 2022-23 school year, enrolment at the Calgary Board of Education has grown by more than 5,800 students and we are projecting another significant increase next year. This investment means we can hire additional teachers, educational assistants and other staff to support our growing student population.”
Laura Hack, board chair, Calgary Board of Education
“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.”
Norma Lang, board chair, Rocky View Schools
“The CASS board of directors recognizes the importance of supporting enrolment growth while maintaining sustainable support for all boards. The early release of the funding manual will assist school authorities in initiating planning needs for the 2023-24 school year."
Scott Morrison, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents
“The investment in enrolment growth of Budget 2023 and other increases in grants are most welcome and will greatly help school authorities face significant challenges including high inflation and labour shortage. The association also appreciates the timeliness of the release of the funding manual and recognizes the extraordinary work of the department staff to make this possible.”
Francois Gagnon, president, Association of School Business Officials Alberta
Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.
- Last fall, the government announced a new supplemental enrolment growth grant that provided school authorities with more than $21 million in additional funding. This grant will continue to be available in the 2023-24 school year.
- Alberta Education introduced the Supplemental Enrolment Growth (SEG) grant in the 2022-23 school year to support school authorities with significant enrolment growth.
- The SEG grant provided additional per-student funding for authority enrolment growth of more than two per cent in the 2022-23 school year. The SEG grant, in addition to weighted moving average-based allocations, will provide additional funding to school authorities that have significant growth.
- Over the next three years, the government will provide school authorities with more than $820 million in additional funding to support enrolment growth.
- In the 2020-21 school year, school boards were funded for about 730,000 students and actual attendance was 705,000.
- In the 2021-22 school year, school boards were funded for about 730,000 students and attendance was about 716,000.
- The robust financial health of school jurisdictions continues to be demonstrated by taxpayer funded reserves, reported to be $407 million as of Aug. 31, 2022.