Media Release

Alberta ranks last on education spending

Media Release

New data from Statistics Canada confirms that Alberta continues to spend the least on public education of any province in Canada.

Data released last week shows that operational expenditures by school boards in Alberta totalled $11,601 per student in the 2020/21 school year. The Canadian average for all provinces for that same school year was $13,332 per student.

“Alberta students deserve better. The premier used a provincewide TV address to forecast budget funding that would not keep up with enrolment growth and inflation. For public education, this is nothing new. It’s been our reality for years, and that is how we have ended so far behind every other province.”

—ATA President Jason Schilling

The data shows that school boards would need at least a 13 per cent boost in funding to bring education spending to the national average. This is equivalent to about $10 per student per day of school.

“Thursday’s budget will be an interesting test for government. Will it make Alberta’s students a priority and move them toward the level of funding provided to every other student in Canada, or will it continue to make excuses, overcrowd classrooms, under support students and demand more from teachers to keep the system afloat?”

—ATA President Jason Schilling


Bar graph illustrating education spending by Province

The new data on school board operating expenditures for the 2020/21 school year was updated to the Statistics Canada website on February 20, 2024. Per pupil amounts were calculated using 2020/21 public school enrolment in regular programs for youth.

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