Budget announcement is welcome news

Budget announcement is welcome news for Clearview’s students and families
Posted on 02/25/2022

Yesterday, families and communities received the provincial budget for Alberta over the next year.  Clearview Public Schools is continuing to examine the details relating to the announcement, and would like to share some information on the budget which may be helpful.


There are several key announcements that provides benefits to our students and staff, including:


- 1% increase to the base funding ($150,000)

- 1% increase in facilities funding ($20,000)

- 4.6% increase in transportation services ($135,000)

- continuation of the “hold-harmless” funding to 2020-21 (pre-COVID)

- additional supports for curriculum implementation (details to be provided)

- additional supports for student well-being (details to be provided)


“It was very important to receive an increase in transportation funding, as we are already noticing higher costs in fuel as well as higher costs for maintaining and purchasing school buses.  Fuel prices are the highest we have seen in many years.  Also, with the facilities funding increase and “hold-harmless” dollars, facilities’ costs, which are expected to increase in electricity and gas, will be addressed using the “hold-harmless” dollars without seeing a decrease in funding for our schools.” 

- Associate Superintendent Peter Neale

 

With the increases in funding and the “hold-harmless” funding, Clearview is expecting an additional $820,000 which otherwise would not have been available. These dollars will be used to address operating deficits in our schools, transportation services and facilities services. While the dollars do not represent an increase in services from 2021-22, they will provide significant help in maintaining services and supports for students given the decrease in enrolment and increases in costs being experienced.


“While there are several details Clearview is seeking clarity on, the fact the province has announced a “hold-harmless” approach to operational funding is great news.  We note the funding increases do reduce the “hold-harmless” funding.  The overall impact is positive for Clearview given the enrolment decline experienced in the past two years of 90 students, which without these additional dollars would have seen less supports and services for our students and families.”

- Chair Neitz


Grant rates for other funding envelopes such as Services and Supports and Community (Inclusive Services), as well as Jurisdictional (governance and system administration), will not receive increases.


The Division expects to receive its funding profile confirming the dollars Clearview can expect for 2022-23 in late March.


“We are looking forward to further details on curriculum implementation and on student well-being,” said Superintendent MacDonald. “Through our recent family and staff engagement using Thoughexchange we heard how important it is to address the student learning disruption due to COVID-19, and to address our students’ well-being including their mental health.  The new funding and supports we are receiving will be above our “hold-harmless” funding and is welcome news.”


The provincial government also announced $1.5 billion over three years for school projects, including 15 projects for the construction of new schools, modernizations and design work to support school building priorities. With the previous approval now received for a new modular classroom at Gus Wetter School in Castor, Clearview’s current first and only capital priority is now a modernization of the junior high school section at our Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus in Stettler, AB.


For more details on the full education budget introduced by the Alberta Government, click HERE.