Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Education cuts in Alberta

The following is a letter from our Board Chair in Red Deer Catholic School Division about the current underfunding to education.

April 28, 2015
Dear Parent and Guardian,

Re: Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Budget for the 2015-2016 school year

We are writing to share information about the Alberta Government’s budget for the 2015-2016 school year and the negative implications it will have on our jurisdiction, schools and students.

The Division is projecting a total shortfall of approximately $4 million, due to grant reductions, a freeze on funding for enrolment growth and restrictions on the use of our reserves.

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) is a growing school division. Our projections estimate that RDCRS will see an additional 300 to 400 students enrolled for the next school year. Under the current provincial fiscal plan for the 2015-2016 school year, student population growth will not be funded. There will be $2 million less to accommodate the needs of all our students as of September 2016 and class sizes will be larger. Therefore, there will be less support services for vulnerable students, such as English Language Learners and those with special needs.

RDCRS works hard to be financially responsible and accountable to our communities. We have operating reserves, which are used to maintain our schools funding levels to protect students and classrooms against the fluctuations in provincial funding. In 2014-2015, RDCRS used approximately $800,000 in operating reserves to maintain its programs and services for students. Therefore, the inability to access our reserves will result in serious implications for students.

We would appreciate your support in standing up, speaking out, and voicing your support for education. Working together, we will make a difference for our schools. If you have concerns  regarding the Alberta budget and its impact on education, please contact the Alberta Minister of Education, the Premier’s office, your local MLA, and all candidates running in the upcoming provincial election.

To get in contact with candidates in your constituency, please click on the following links:

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to Catholic education.
Guy Pelletier
Board Chair, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools
Cc. Alberta School Boards Association
Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association
College of Alberta School Superintendents
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