Building Alberta: Budget 2013 keeps the focus on students
Funding for school capital projects will be nearly $1.4 billion over three years. This includes $500 million as the first step in meeting Premier Redford’s commitment of 50 new schools and 70 school modernizations, expected to have a total cost of more than $2 billion. Details on these projects will be announced in the coming weeks.
“This is a challenging budget and we had to make some tough choices to put kids first,” said Education Minister Jeff Johnson. “Teachers and trustees urged us to find a way to fully fund enrolment growth and increase spending in priority areas like class size and inclusive education, and I’m glad we were able to do that. Even so, the fiscal reality is that many school boards will see fewer operating dollars this year compared to last year, and we will all need to work together to make sure kids aren’t impacted in a negative way.”
On the advanced education side, post-secondary institutions will receive $2 billion in base operating grants, a $147-million decrease from 2012-13, but still one of the highest rates of per capita funding in Canada.
“Operating grants for post-secondary institutions have increased by more than 45 percent over the past decade. We’ve seen incredible returns on that investment - but such funding increases aren’t sustainable year after year,” said Thomas Lukaszuk, Deputy Premier and Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education. “We will be looking to all our Campus Alberta partners to be more efficient and effective through greater cooperation and less duplication in specialized academic programs for students.”
Government is increasing support to post-secondary students in Budget 2013, with a 21-per-cent increase in money available for student loans, a $250,000-boost in funding for what is already the most generous scholarship program in Canada, and a new grant for low-income students.
Funding for post-secondary capital projects will be nearly $500 million over three years. This includes $282 million toward new facilities at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, NorQuest College, the University of Calgary, Lethbridge College and Mount Royal University. These projects are expected to have a total cost of more than $650 million.
Our government was elected to keep building Alberta, to live within its means and to fight to open new markets for Alberta’s resources. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.
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