Posted on Nov 4, 2019

School board numbers prove UCP has gutted student funding

Both the Minister of Finance and Minister of Education continue to lie to Albertans about their cuts to education funding, even as documents produced by school boards show they’re receiving hundreds of millions less than expected.

The NDP Official Opposition is calling on the Government to come clean with Albertans about the full extent of cuts they have made and the devastating impact their budget will have on students this school year.

The Calgary Board of Education - the province’s largest school board - expected roughly $1.3 billion in June but their updated funding documents in the wake of the provincial budget showed they received about $164 million less. Edmonton Public Schools expected $1.095 billion but actually got $1.016 billion, a difference of $79 million.

Similar troubles are confronting the Calgary Catholic School District ($97.4 million less), Edmonton Catholic School District ($51.8 million less), Lethbridge School District ($22.8 million less), St. Albert Public Schools ($3.6 million less), Fort McMurray Catholic Schools ($3.3 million).

“More numbers from school boards will continue to come out and all will show that the Government is lying to Alberta parents,” said Sarah Hoffman, Education Critic for the NDP Opposition. “Premier Jason Kenney promised to fund enrolment. Well, enrolment is up and funding is down, period.

“The Premier is willing to gut funding for our kids to help pay for his $4.7-billion no jobs corporate handout.”

Last week, during estimates on the Education budget, Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange was asked to provide the differences between school boards’ expected budgets and the actual amounts being provided. She outright refused to provide that information, and now we know why.