To support the growth of the education system, new school authorities will now receive start-up financial assistance. If eligible under criteria outlined in the Education Funding Handbook, new schools opened by existing school authorities will be funded based on their actual enrollment for the first three years instead of the weighted moving average. .
The change applies to all public, separate, francophone, public charter and independent school authorities and will better support the growth of new schools, sites and programs.
The recently released Funding Handbook for School Authorities for the 2022-2023 school year can be accessed through the province’s website. It includes details on upcoming funding changes, including seed funding for new schools, expansion funding, and equity grant funding for public charter schools.
Alberta Association of Public Charter Schools President Ron Koper said, “The new changes to the Funding Handbook continue the government’s progress in providing equitable financial support to all Alberta students and families. “.
FUNDING FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIALIZED LEARNING NEEDS
The province says changes to grant eligibility will ensure that public charter schools receive the same financial support for students as other public school authorities.
This includes equitable supports for students with disabilities and those requiring specialist support through the Specialized Learning Support Grant.
The province is also investing $2 million over the next two years to support homeschooling students and families, including resources, virtual learning sessions for parents, assessments and coordinated consultations. with speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, mental and behavioral health therapists and psychologists.
The new supports aim to ensure that any student whose family has notified the government that they are home-schooled will have access to assessments and supports.
The province noted that consolidated spending on education increases by $142 million and reaches $8.4 billion in 2022-23. Additional funding will help ensure that all school authorities can adequately manage enrollment growth, retain teachers and support staff, and address ongoing cost pressures.
School authority operating funding has not decreased despite a projected 726,654 students in 2021-22 and only 716,868 enrolled.