Budget 2021 Leaves Education in the Lurch for Funding Details

News Release 2021 02 25

The devil will be in the details for education funding in the 2021/22 school year, says ATA president Jason Schilling in response to today’s provincial budget. The government will not be releasing school jurisdiction funding profiles or next year’s funding manual until the end of March—documents that are normally released on budget day.

“The exact impacts of this budget for the next school year are unclear, because the government is not releasing details of funding for school boards until the end of March.

We are concerned that the government may be obscuring the reality of school board funding by conflating government fiscal years with school board fiscal years while delaying the release of the details by over a month.

We appreciate that the government is planning to hold school board’s harmless for lower enrolment this year as a result of COVID-19, but again the details of this are unclear until school board funding is announced.

We are concerned that budget documents show $27 million less in expenditures on instruction in Budget 2021, while private schools see an increase of $20 million in funding.

Next year public education will continue to experience cost pressures as enrolment is expected to grow again, new curriculum will be piloted and COVID will still be impacting classrooms, but we’re not sure the funding will be there to support these challenges.”

ATA president Jason Schilling

Schilling says the Association will provide a full response to school board funding allocations when they are released next month.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association, as the professional organization of teachers, promotes and advances public education, safeguards standards of professional practice and serves as the advocate for its 46,000 members.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with President Schilling, contact Mark Milne at 780-905-0014.