The Chair and Vice Chair from school council attended the CBE trustee-hosted Council of School Councils (COSC) meeting on April 23. This purpose of this meeting was to inform parent representatives about the impacts of the provincial budget.
The education budget has been significantly impacted for many years, with per student funding decreasing four years in a row. As a result, class sizes have been increasing (most notably in high school), supports and resources for schools have been decreasing and maintenance has been deferred.
Here are some of details from the COSC meeting:
The CBE is the largest school board in Alberta with 227 schools, 114,500 students and over 13,000 staff. The overall CBE budget is $1.2 billion.
The provincial budget provides NO funding for student growth. From 2015-2018, the CBE expects to see 9000 more students. That is a $90 million shortfall.
The CBE has $1 billion in deferred maintenance.
Provincial budget includes a 3.1% cut to grants for kindergarten, English Language Learners (ELL), First Nations/Metis/Inuit (FNMI) and other vulnerable students.
Ways the CBE is dealing with these budget cuts:
Cuts to the superintendent team (22%)
Move to a break/fix model instead of evergreen/refresh with regards to technology
Bring your own device re: technology
Increase the number of single custodian schools
Decreases in service units (e.g., human resources, legal, finance, IT supports, learning supports (e.g., psychologists, speech pathologists, vision/hearing impairment supports), facilities)
Using reserves to maintain class sizes at 2014/15 levels, to pay for growth in enrollment, maintaining ELL support in years 6&7, maintaining full-day kindergarten programming for vulnerable students.
Reserves have been frozen by the education minister so it is still unknown if the CBE will be able to use the reserves as was unanimously voted upon by the school trustees.
If you have any other questions about the CBE budget, you can email our school trustee, Trina Hurdman, or you can review the information provided by the CBE: