Francophone school boards get $5 million from Alberta

Each year, French school boards obtain a grant per student to ensure this equivalence. In 2019, it was $624.24 per student. In 2020, Jason Kenney’s government introduced a new funding model and the grant was reduced to $250 per student.

The Federation of Francophone School Boards of Alberta (FCSFA) had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a detailed explanation of these changes. The Ministry of Education is content to say that the money was allocated differently, but that overall the school board budget was increased by $3.3 million compared to the previous funding model.

With this new $5 million in funding announced Wednesday, the Department of Education is again changing the funding formula. Francophone students in kindergarten to grade 9 will get $612.46 and those in grades 10 to 12, $673.71. This is in addition to the basic allocation and the allocation for small schools, which is $1.7 million. The operational budget of Francophone Alberta school boards will therefore increase from $113.9 million to $118.9 million.

The FCSFA says she needs time to study the details of the announcement to understand the impact on her councils’ budgets, but she welcomes this funding adjustment.

I believe these are encouraging signs. We find elements that were part of our discussions with the Ministrysays its president Tanya Saumure.

We appreciate the collaborative work that has taken place over the past few months to make the challenges faced by French-language school boards heard. Their reality is unique and the response to their challenges must, by extension, be unique.she continues.

This funding will give a boost to Franco-Albertan school boards, all of which are in deficit this year. Recently, the Centre-Nord school board said it no longer had enough money in its reserves to make up for its shortfall and FrancoSud expected to find itself in the same situation next year.

The Department of Education also expects up to 800 teachers and principals to be hired during the school year. It also provides an additional $50 million to cover salary increases ratified in teacher collective agreements, $7 million for a new enrollment growth grant, and additional funding for the cost of school transportation as long as the average monthly price of the diesel exceeds $1.25 per litre.

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