This is how Education Minister Hancock described the 2011-2012 Alberta Provincial budget and the impact on education. I hope that for students it feels like a bump and not a hard knock. I also hope that teachers, support staff, administrators, school councils, trustees and parents can maintain energy, enthusiasm and hope with a much tighter belt pulling on our mid-section.
Key points from budget announcements today by Education Minister Dave Hancock:
- Thanks for working as partners – please with participation in Inspiring Education, Setting the Direction, and Speak Out
- Education needs to be research informed – what’s best for students
- Teacher excellence has to be a key focus
- Education is an investment – should be research based
- Looking at OECD work – what can we learn from other countries?
- He sees this as a “Bump in the Road” not a “Dead End” Budget and part of a longer process so please be patient
- Indicated it is a tough budget for him to deliver as he realizes it is not good news but it is necessary given the Alberta economy
- Total education funding is 6.4B a 4.4% increase
- Teacher salary increase will be fully funded at 4.4%
- Indicated that if AAWE is higher than 4.4 he will go back to treasury board for more money
- AISI reduced by 50% for 2011-2012
- Small increase for some transportation costs (but not in a category that will benefit CRPS)
- Alberta Ed expects a 1.1% increase in students and that has been factored in to the budget
- An increase in Severe Special needs funding will be used to build an inclusive approach – details will come by end of school year
- Relative Cost of Purchasing will be phased out over two years – 50% less next year and then gone the year after (this negatively affects CRPS)
- Enrolment decline money eliminated (this will affect CRPS)
- Student health initiative no increase
- No new money for infrastructure and new schools announced – the funding already approved for 2011/12 will be available
- O&M and IMR – no increase (money to maintain and clean buildings)
- Alberta Education Web-site will have their Business Plan posted with more details of implementation of budget and Inspiring Education
- 2011-2014 Action Agenda will be a description of changes
- Education Act will be introduced this spring for 1st and perhaps 2nd reading – then out for discussion (in Act language) for input
- Minister Hancock did not identify when he intends to re-introduce the act for 3rd and final reading and approval
I will update this when more information becomes available and as soon as possible add more details about impacts for CRPS.
Here is a link to a blog post about the Alberta budget from a political analyist that I follow and trust – Ken Chapman.