Support Our Students Alberta (SOSAB) calls on the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, to initiate an independent audit of Alberta Education’s financial practices in light of internal budget documents obtained through a freedom-of-information request by the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA). These documents directly contradict repeated claims by Minister of Education, Adriana LaGrange, that enrollment growth would be funded for the 2019/2020 school year.
Based on the government information obtained by the ATA, SOS Alberta calculates an average per-pupil decrease of $370 in the UCP’s current budget, despite the Minister’s claims to the contrary. For a school with a student population of 400, this manifests as a $148,000 shortfall in funding.
Each and every of the 63 public, separate and francophone school divisions in Alberta have been dealt a per-pupil funding cut, contrary to the Minister LaGrange’s repeated claims that enrollment growth would be funded. This is yet another example of this UCP government’s questionable, irresponsible relationship with the truth. Albertans expect this UCP government to lead-by-example with respect to transparency, accountability, and integrity; an independent audit is the only way for Albertans to uncover how repeated Government statements can be so incompatible with reality.
This government accused the CBE of fiscal mismanagement under the premise that funding for education was maintained; the latest revelations undercut this premise, demonstrating that the CBE’s budgetary constraints were a consequence of provincial cuts and not at the board level, as accused by the Minister. Independently auditing the CBE for what is now shown to be a manufactured crisis is wasteful and irresponsible use of tax dollars.
Support our Students Alberta is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer organization that advocates for equitable and accessible public education in Alberta.