Mar. 16, 2017
PDF of Media Statement
We have received the Provincial budget and are pleased that the Province continues to prioritize public education.
We are the largest school board in the province, representing about one-sixth of all Alberta students. Next year alone, we will welcome over 2,000 new students into our classrooms, bringing our enrolment to over 121,000 students. Each of our students deserves the high quality education that Calgary families have come to expect.
This government has stated it wants to protect and improve public education. Providing funding for each and every child is the responsibility of the provincial government. Even with funding for enrolment growth, we will still have a gap between the amount we receive, and the amount necessary to maintain current educational service levels for our students. Therefore, we are worried that government funding may not be able to protect and improve public education.
We are committed to working with the Provincial Government and our staff and parents to continue to make decisions based on our values; students come first, learning is our central purpose and public education serves the common good.
We support the Government’s intention to make life more affordable for all families with the introduction of Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees. We also have some concerns about this. Our initial analysis indicates that about one in four students who currently ride a yellow school bus will benefit from Bill 1. The rest could see fees increased and services reduced or eliminated.
With Bill 1, the Government has taken over responsibility for setting service levels and the related fees. We are worried that we will be required to make decisions contrary to what we heard from parents last year during our transportation engagement.
We look forward to working with the Government to ensure we protect and improve public education for each and every student.