Province Changing Funding Formula For School Districts

The provincial government is updating the current funding model for school divisions in hopes of increasing the amount of money each receives.

They announced on Tuesday changes which they believe will improve the formula that’s been used for the past 15 years.

This includes lowering the number of grants to 15 from 36, making each grant more specific to certain needs.

“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,” said Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education, in a release.

“These changes will ensure our divisions continue to be equipped to provide our students with a world-class, high-quality education.”

One of the other big changes includes the annual student count turning into a three-year average for funding.

LaGrange notes schools will know ahead of time what their funding will be instead of having to wait until the fall when they know what their student population is.

Overall, the province expects these changes to reduce red tape and make it easier for school divisions.

“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,” added LaGrange.

Meanwhile, the Alberta NDP note these changes don’t take into account the rise in enrollment in many communities.

They’re also worried there will be fewer supports for students with complex needs.

The GoA plans on sharing more information when they release their budget later this month.

The changes will come into effect during the 2020-21 school year.

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