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).
Albertans expect us to help every student get the education needed to be successful and contributing members of society – and First Nations students are no exception. We are investing $9.3 million in Budget 2015 so 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 or a provincial school in a nearby community.
The $9.3 million for 2015-16 came from Education’s existing budget in order to make these initiatives a priority. In addition, government has committed $28 million and $37 million in new funding over the next two fiscal years for continued planning and implementation of student-centred approaches with a primary focus on improving outcomes for First Nation students.
First Nations education funding is intended to enhance, not replace, federal education funding which should be equitable and comparable to provincial education funding. Our goal is to ensure supports are in place to meet the needs of all students.
Actions will help ensure students, who live on-reserve, have comparable opportunities to those who live off-reserve, and will include:
- Strengthening relationships between provincial school authorities and First Nation;
- Facilitating enhanced coordination of supports and services for First Nations children, youth and families; and
- Increasing the number of First Nations, Métis and Inuit professionals in education.