Provincial Budget Impacts - Spring 2016
April 15, 2016 - Parkland School Division's enduring priority of resource stewardship is always top of mind when it comes to all decisions made that contribute to the Division's Ultimate Goal of Student Success and Well-being. The Government of Alberta's Budget 2016 announcement was positive news for students and staff in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County.
"Overall there is a sense of relief and optimism when it comes to Alberta's Budget 2016," stated Board Chair Eric Cameron. "The fact that grant funding remains the status quo will help us make decisions that will directly benefit teachers and students in the classroom. The stable and predictable funding that comes with the commitment to fund enrolment growth is a glimmer of positive news. Despite this challenging economy for many families in this region, we're fortunate that we're experiencing growth especially in our larger urban centres."
Budget 2016 demonstrates that Education remains one of government’s top priorities. Despite facing significant fiscal challenges, government is protecting Kindergarten to Grade 12 education by providing stable funding to classrooms.
Including estimated school board expenses funded by other revenue sources, Education’s consolidated operating expense is budgeted at $7.9 billion in the 2016/2017 fiscal year, a significant increase of $292 million, or 3.8 per cent, over the prior year. In addition, school capital investment reaches $1.9 billion, for a consolidated total of $9.8 billion.
Government is committed to providing stable K-12 education funding by funding the projected enrolment growth.
This is great news for PSD considering our projected enrolment numbers look to continue the trend of a 2 to 3% increase year-over-year.
School Capital Funding
Total school capital funding reaches $1.8 billion in the 2016/2017 fiscal year (nonâ€‘consolidated, excluding estimated school board self-funded projects). This significant investment includes $1.6 billion to support the 200 previously approved new and modernization school projects across the province which covers both the completion of Prescott Learning Centre and the second new Kindergarten to Grade 9 school scheduled to be built in Spruce Grove's west end.
Unfunded Capital Projects
As part of the commitment to transparency and openness, for the first time the government is presenting a list of
unfunded capital projects as an addendum to the Budget 2016 Capital Plan. It is comprised of projects presented by departments that met priority criteria and fit within the three pillars of the Capital Plan: key social programs and services that Albertans rely on; encouraging economic development in communities, and protecting the environment. Parkland School Division is pleased that the modernization of Woodhaven Middle School was on this list.
"The fact that the modernization of Woodhaven Middle School is on this list is definitely a positive for Parkland School Division," said Superintendent Tim Monds. "As highlighted at our most recent Regular Board Meeting, our Board approved our submitted Three-Year Capital Plan. Priorities remain a rebuild at Stony Plain Central School, Woodhaven's modernization as well as a modernization of Spruce Grove Composite High School and long term planning still identifies the need for a new high school for PSD in the future. We are optimistic but at the same time, the message was received that the government's latest list is always subject to change and we realize that not all of the projects identified will receive funding."
For more information contact:
Associate Superintendent, Business & Finance