Posted by: kbater | February 24, 2011

Education Budget – “Bump in the road – not a dead end”

Education Minister Dave Hancock

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.

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