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Trustees Approve Distribution of Funds for 2015-2016

Wed, 29 Apr, 2015

News item: Trustees Approve Distribution of Funds for 2015-2016

At Tuesday's public meeting, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Administration's recommendation for how funds should be  spent on things like classroom instruction, early childhood services, teacher salaries, building design and maintenance and transportation for the 2015-2016 school year. Those funds were allocated by the Provincial Government in its budget, tabled earlier this month.

Board Chair Michael Janz said the impact on the education system can’t be underestimated. The key challenge he says, is absorbing 2,700 new students into Edmonton schools – the equivalent of a large high school like Jasper Place - with no corresponding new funds. 

“That’s more than 100 new classrooms of students added to the system, with no new money,” says Janz. “It’s disheartening to face a budget that’s not able to provide what’s needed, and it likely means larger classes, increased workload for teachers and reductions to programs for vulnerable students.”

Chair Janz encouraged parents and community members to share concerns they may have, with political candidates in their neighbourhoods during the election campaign.

Highlights of the provincial budget’s impact on the District:

  • Funds for young children with severe disabilities or delays will decrease by 3.1 per cent
  • Funds for Inclusive Education decrease by 1.9 per cent
  • Funds for English as a Second Language decrease by 3.1 per cent
  • Grants for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education decrease by 3.1 per cent
  • Grants for Socio-Economic Status decrease by 3.1 per cent
  • All other grants decrease by an average of 2.7 per cent
  • Access to the District’s reserve funds will only be allowed with Ministerial approval. As of Aug. 31, 2014, the District’s reserve funds represented only 17 days of operational funding

Schools will now build their individual budgets for 2015-2016, based on funds allocated at Tuesday’s meeting.