Funding supports under Budget 2013
Alberta Education is spending smarter by focusing funding where it will make the biggest difference for kids. We have taken a hard look at our budget to ensure we are investing every dollar where it will be most effective for student success. This budget is a thoughtful approach to government spending that continues to fund core programs and initiatives. There are no reductions to instructional funding in Budget 2013.
Inclusive Education - $385 million
All students deserve the chance to succeed. That’s why we are increasing funding for Inclusive Education, an initiative based on what we heard from Albertans during Inspiring Education.
Budget 2013 provides a two per cent grant rate increase for Inclusive Education, bringing total support to over $385 million. This funding will help ensure school boards have the flexibility to support the unique needs of every school, classroom and student.
Inclusion funding will be used to provide the supports and services that parents and teachers identified as offering the most benefit to all students. This includes instructional supports and assistive technology. School boards will continue to have flexibility to apply the funding in a way that best meets their local needs, including enhancing the availability of additional supports such as speech language, physical and occupational therapies.
Transition funding, implemented in Budget 2012 with the new Inclusive Education grant, will be renamed Program Equity funding and included in the 2013/2016 Business Plan. This means that all boards will receive the two per cent increase to their current inclusion funding.
Albertans told us they value an inclusive education system, and this is one way we are putting students first.
Small Class Size Initiative - $248 million
Budget 2013 recognizes that smaller class sizes can have an impact on students, especially in kindergarten to Grade 3, where studies show small class sizes make the most difference. Since 2004/05, more than $1.9 billion has been invested in the Small Class Size Initiative.
In Budget 2013, class size grants increase from $232 million to $248 million. It is government’s expectation that boards’ will target funding to achieve class size results for our early learners. School boards will be required to post their class size survey results in their Annual Education Results Report.
Equity of Opportunity Grant - $110 million
This grant continues the Premier’s 2012 commitment of $107 million to classroom supports for students.
There are three components under the funding formula: per student, distance, and low student density funding. This year, a portion of the per-student funding will be reallocated to distance and low student density funding. This is in recognition of the unique issues faced by rural school boards due to declining enrolment and distance challenges and ensures rural students have equitable access to educational programs and resources.
Student Health Initiative – $50 million$50 million is included in Budget 2013 for the Student Health Initiative, which will transition to a new delivery model – Regional Collaborative Service Delivery. This new model is intended to deliver services on a regional basis to support schools and community partners to better meet the needs of children and youth with complex needs, and to strengthen the capacity of service providers to collaboratively respond to those needs.
Transportation - $273 million
Student transportation is an integral part of the education system. The government commitment to the safe and efficient transportation of nearly 300,000 K-12 students across Alberta will benefit from a $273 million investment.
The Fuel Price Contingency Program, a one-time grant, will be discontinued effective April 1, 2013.
Private Schools and Private Early Childhood Services Operators - $206 million
Government will continue to honour its commitment to provide accredited private schools with up to 70% of the base instruction funding provided to public schools, in conjunction with enhanced accountability.
Due to strong enrolment and changes in student demographics, particularly increases in enrolment of Early Childhood Services children with disabilities, private schools will receive a funding increase of $10.8 million. This brings total funding to $206 million.
Teachers’ Pension Plan - $809 millionAlberta Education’s contribution for current service payments to the Alberta Teachers’ Pension Plan increases in 2013-14, from $327 million to $353 million. Additional funding of $456 million is provided by Alberta Treasury Board and Finance on behalf of teachers for service earned prior to 1992. This brings total government investment in teachers’ pensions to $809 million this year.
Capital and Infrastructure Funding
Budget 2013 includes $1.4 billion over the next three years for capital projects, including over $500 million to support the Premier’s commitment to build an additional 50 new schools and modernize 70 existing schools.
Health and safety of Alberta’s students and staff in their learning environments remains a government priority.
Since the introduction of the Inclusive Education funding model, government has moved away from linking funding to coding of students. As a result, coding has been removed from the funding formula for Plant Operations and Maintenance (PO&M). Total support to public and separate school boards for PO&M is $470 million. Funding to private schools for PO&M will be eliminated effective September 1, 2013.
In Budget 2013, Infrastructure Maintenance and Renewal (IMR) funding decreases from $96 million to $77 million. School boards will be asked to target IMR funding to address their most pressing needs.
The IMR program funds school renovation and/or upgrade projects valued up to $1 million: More information of IMR funding can be found in the Schools Capital Manual
Focusing Tax Dollars on Core Programs
Budget 2013 tightens government spending to ensure every dollar is invested where it will be most effective for students.
Full-day Kindergarten - Government remains committed to making full-day Kindergarten an option for Alberta parents. However, given the current fiscal situation, timelines need to be re-evaluated and adjusted.
Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI) - Funding to the Alberta Initiative for School Improvement will be eliminated, effective April 1, 2013, in order to examine ways to align AISI with the vision of Inspiring Education.
Department Administration Budget - Education recognizes it must be part of the solution to deal with Alberta’s fiscal challenges. The Ministry’s administration budget will be reduced by nearly 15 per cent through internal restructuring.
School Board Administration - Just as the Ministry is reducing its administration budget, school boards also need to make adjustments. To minimize the impact on the classrooms, school boards are asked to reduce their board and system administration spending cap by 10 per cent of the current limit.
For More Information
For detailed Education budget information: Education Business Plan
School Jurisdiction Funding Allocations
This link will take you to a breakdown of the funding for each school jurisdiction, which shows the projected amount your school jurisdiction could receive in Budget 2013.