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Alberta changing school funding formula, puts hard caps on administration

Last Updated Feb 18, 2020 at 4:04 pm MDT

EDMONTON – The Alberta government says it is changing the way it will calculate school funding for kindergarten through Grade 12 starting this fall.

The plan includes streamlining grants, capping administration costs and reworking the per-student funding formula.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange hasn’t released specific numbers, saying those will come in the Feb. 27 budget.

“Alberta will continue to have one of the best-funded education systems in the country. This new model will drive more money to our school divisions for use in the classroom and provides them with the flexibility they need to meet the unique needs of their students.”

LaGrange also said the changes would help provide students with world-class, high-quality education.

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Schools currently don’t know how much money they are getting each year until enrolments are finalized, sometime after classes have started, which can cause uncertainty and mid-year budget complications.

LaGrange highlighted five key points in the changes: Funding to classrooms, protecting students, managing growth, providing funding predictability, and enhancing accountability.

“Our new funding model gives schools more of what they want – flexibility, stability and predictability. Flexibility to invest provincial dollars in areas that make the most sense for their communities, stability in the number of grants and what the province expects for reporting, and predictability in their funding envelope to allow for better planning well ahead of each school year.”

The new formula is to use enrolment estimates, so schools will know each spring how much money they are getting for the school year starting that fall.

This report includes excerpts from the Canadian Press.