The current education funding program in Alberta, first implemented in Fall 2020, prioritizes predictable funding over sufficient funding with a 3-year rolling weighted enrollment average used to establish funding levels. As Lethbridge is seeing high growth, the funding model actually lags our enrollment growth. While such a system can be fine tuned with census and other data to better account for population growth, this is currently not the case. A K-12 Education funding review by Riep, 2021 indicates that Lethbridge School division is down $183 per student as a result of this model. School boards play an important role in providing local expert knowledge to inform and lobby for their needs. The provincial education funding framework needs to provide sufficient funding for all school divisions while recognizing unique characteristics of each division including urban/rural differences, local poverty levels and other traits which may require consideration in funding of special programs.
September 28, 2021 Jill Spencer