ATA News

Thirteen Alberta school boards to receive funding cuts

School boards in a number of growing communities will receive less provincial funding next year, according to recently released funding profiles. 

School jurisdiction funding profiles posted to the Alberta government website on May 6 outline the provincial funding that each school board will receive for the next school year. The 2024–25 profiles show 13 Alberta boards will experience funding cuts.

As a result of these cuts, schools in communities such as Grande Prairie, Medicine Hat, Okotoks, High River, St. Albert, Camrose, Two Hills, Fort MacLeod and Morinville will likely experience even larger class sizes and program cuts when school starts in the fall, said ATA president Jason Schilling.

“There is no excuse in our growing, wealthy province to have funding cuts for public education,” Schilling said.

Year after year after year, school board funding has failed to keep up with inflation and enrolment growth.As a result, Alberta now has the lowest per-pupil spending on education in all of Canada, Schilling said.

He added that he is hearing from teachers that many school boards, in addition to those experiencing funding cuts, will be laying off teachers at the end of the school year. These plans run contrary to government budget announcements heralding the hiring of 3,000 additional school staff over the next three years, he said, adding that school boards must halt any planned layoffs, and the government should immediately announce additional funding for the fall.

“The weighted moving average has proven disastrous for education funding. We’ve had years of rapid enrolment growth and insufficient funding,” Schilling said. 

When adjusted for inflation, per-pupil education spending will be down 13 per cent provincewide, compared to 2019, he said.

“We are now 3,000 teaching positions behind where service levels were at just five years ago,” Schilling said. “As a result of underfunding, class sizes have grown, programs have been cut and supports for students continue to erode.” ❚

School jurisdiction funding profiles: 2024–25

School boardDollars cutPer cent cut
The Medicine Hat School Division-$1,045,675-1.4%
The Northland School Division-$761,115-2.3%
The Aspen View School Division-$646,458-1.7%
The Battle River School Division-$546,236-0.8%
The Foothills School Division-$521,043-0.6%
The Living Waters Catholic Separate School Division-$504,056-2.2%
The Sturgeon School Division-$500,310-0.8%
The Greater St. Albert Roman Catholic Separate School Division-$360,390-0.6%
The Peace Wapiti School Division-$339,760-0.4%
The Holy Family Catholic Separate School Division-$221,112-0.9%
The Livingstone Range School Division-$52,483-0.1%
The Northwest Francophone Education Region-$34,316-0.4%
The St. Paul School Division-$32,561-0.1%