Alberta cutting grants, changing model of K-12 education funding

The Alberta government announced an overhaul Tuesday for education funding in the province.

Among the changes — the number of grants available to K-12 schools will be reduced from 36 to 15. The government calls the move a way to reduce red tape for administration.

According to the UCP, multiple grants will be combined.

The new model also moves to what Alberta Education says is a more predictable funding method.

In the past, funding was based on enrolment numbers. At the end of September, schools would submit their enrolment numbers which would then lead to funding changes mid-year.

Now, funding will be announced with the budget each March. The calculation will be based on a moving three-year average of enrolment.

Previously, high schools were funded based on how many credits students took. That will change with high schools also being based on enrolment going forward with grades 10 – 12 receiving 10 per cent more money than lower grades.

Alberta Education says the changes will mean all school boards will receive more funding in 2021 than they did in the current school year.

The government met with public, separate and Francophone school divisions across the province to develop the changes.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association had raised concerns about money for schools, saying documents show $136 million in funding has been cut this school year. The UCP has insisted funding has remained flat.

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