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I’m very pleased to confirm that Budget 2021 offers stability to the K to 12 education system by maintaining funding.
This commitment to funding the education of young Albertans remains, even with the fiscal challenges the province is facing.
Let’s be clear, because of the pandemic, those fiscal challenges are quite significant.
Our commitment to education, however, has not wavered – and Alberta continues to have one of the best-funded education systems in Canada.
With this budget, as always, our goal is to drive as many dollars as possible to the classroom, and away from administrative costs.
Alberta students deserve a world-class, high-quality education – and that starts with stable funding for school authorities.
The province did not penalize school boards for lower than expected enrolment this year; nor will we be penalizing boards in the 2021-22 school year.
In Budget 2021, more than $130 million in COVID mitigation funding will be provided to school authorities – funding that would have otherwise been removed from the system.
I’m also pleased to confirm that in Budget 2021, as promised, Alberta’s government is investing in building and maintaining schools.
We are committed to building much-needed schools in every corner of the province.
Work will continue on all projects currently underway, and the 2021 Capital Plan adds 14 additional school projects to that list. The Capital Plan also provides $140 million over 3 years to support the continued implementation of the modular program to address the most urgent needs for additional spaces across the province. The $90 million allotment in Budget 2021 is the highest ever single-year investment in the modular program.
Alberta’s government also believes that all children – including our most vulnerable – deserve an education that prepares them for success.
And we continue to look at ways to better support children and students with specialized learning needs and those who may require additional supports.
For Budget 2021, we are providing an additional $40 million dollars to the learning support funding envelope, which includes program unit funding and specialized learning support funding grants, and others, to school authorities.
My department will continue to examine these grants to ensure the most vulnerable children and students are supported.
Alberta’s continued investment in education is just one piece of a successful K to 12 education system.
I truly appreciate the hard work of teachers, school staff and many other education partners who are so dedicated to educating and supporting young Albertans.
I know we all have the same goal in mind – delivering the best education we can for our students.
Working together, we will see our education system emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever.