Funding Documents Reveal 16 Per Cent Cut for K–3 Students

Release Date 2019 10 25

October 25, 2019

Alberta Education’s Funding Manual, released after the tabling of yesterday’s budget, shows that funding for most of Alberta’s 6-, 7- and 8-year old students will be slashed by over $1,300 per student.

 

For urban school boards, the government has replaced a $1,522 class size grant with a $203 per pupil one-time transition grant. Total instruction funding for Grade 1–3 students was reduced from $8,201 per student in 2018/19, to $6,883 per student in 2019/20. The situation for rural school boards is only slightly better, where the transition funding is $356 per student. The 16 per cent cut also applies to kindergarten students who receive half the funding of other Division One students.

“We were shocked to discover that, on further analysis, this budget is even worse than initially anticipated for K – 12 education. The impact will be profound and teachers won’t be able to fill the gaps.”

Jason Schilling, ATA president

Schilling says that the problem of large class sizes is particularly bad at the K–3 grade level, and this budget will make it worse.

“All the research shows that class size reductions have the biggest impact at the youngest grades, yet that is where we are doing the worst job in keeping class sizes small. We have never met the 15-year old targets for K–3 class size and last year, 80 per cent of those classes were too large. This year, class sizes got bigger and I’m very worried that yesterday’s budget will result in further class size growth for our youngest students.”

Jason Schilling, ATA president

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 ATA president Jason Schilling, contact Mark Milne at 780-905-0014.

Resources:

2018/19 School Jurisdiction Funding Rates

2019/20 School Jurisdiction Funding Rates