September 29th, 2016

PCs: School boards need to be straight with Alberta parents on funding reserves


By Lethbridge Herald on April 20, 2015.

Statements made by Alberta school boards today with respect to provincial funding for non-teaching operations do not provide the full picture to Alberta parents.
Alberta school boards have a combined total of more than $460 million in their savings accounts. This is taxpayer money, funded by Alberta Education and built up over the years as a result of operational savings.
“This year, my department reduced its operating budget by nine per cent and directed these savings to the front lines. I’ve been clear all along that school boards will be permitted to use their reserve funds if needed to meet front-line service needs in the coming fiscal year while they find savings in non-teacher costs – that is what this money is there for. These are school boards, not school banks.”
Gordon Dirks
Minister of Education
The provincial budget asks Alberta’s school boards to find 2.7% in administrative and non-teacher cost savings. All teacher positions remain protected. The PC government’s expectation is for boards to make full use of their reserve accounts, if need be, in the coming year in order to transition. These reserves are funding that was paid by the taxpayer and meant to serve the needs of students.

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