The Alberta government is reinstating the Fuel Price Contingency Program to give public, separate, francophone and public charter school authorities greater cost certainty while monthly average diesel prices exceed $1.25 per litre. The program will be enacted retroactively to March and will remain in place for the 2022-23 school year, providing millions of dollars in additional funding for student transportation.
“By providing further fuel cost relief to support transportation services for more than 300,000 kindergarten to Grade 12 students, we are helping prevent service reductions and additional fees for families. With high diesel prices expected to continue, Alberta’s government continues its commitment to ensuring school boards and public charter schools have predictable and sustainable transportation funding.”
The Fuel Price Contingency Program will provide about $8.2 million in additional student transportation funding from March through June of this year based on an estimated average diesel price of $1.80 per litre. In July, eligible school authorities will receive payment for these four months according to established bus route distances. The Alberta government will continue monitoring fuel costs into the 2022-23 school year and will provide cost relief accordingly.
This contingency funding is in addition to the $310 million allocated for student transportation for the current school year. The Alberta government has also provided school authorities with about $2 million in relief for the 2021-22 school year by suspending collection of the 13-cent-per-litre provincial fuel tax on April 1.
“We appreciate the government’s commitment to supporting a strong transportation system in our communities. This funding will ensure that students can continue getting to school safely without significant cost increases to school boards.”
“We appreciate the government’s continued support for education and that they have recognized the higher than expected fuel costs for the current school year by providing increased funding retroactively to March. School authorities will benefit from greater certainty next school year as fuel costs remain high.”
Alberta’s government remains committed to helping school authorities continue to provide consistent student transportation services. Over the next three years, student transportation funding will increase by $39 million to help address escalating costs for insurance, fuel, parts and supplies, and training. There is a $9-million increase in 2022-23 and increases of $15 million for each of the next two fiscal years. This 4.6% increase is on top of the 5% increase implemented in the previous 2020-21 budget.
- Student transportation funding levels in Budget 2022 were based on a forecasted average diesel price of $1.25 per litre while also accounting for increasing costs for insurance, parts, supplies and training.
- According to the combined monthly average of diesel prices in Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Grande Prairie, the estimated average price from March through June is $1.80 per litre.
- Fuel costs typically make up 20 to 25 per cent of a public, separate, francophone and public charter school authorities’ student transportation budget.
- The fuel price contingency program ran during previous periods of price volatility from 2005 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2013.