November 4, 2019
On October 24, 2019, the Alberta government released the provincial budget. The Westwind Board of Trustees and Administration would like to share some information about what the provincial budget means for our division.
While Alberta Education’s overall funding for education has remained consistent at $8.2 billion, the new budget removes three key grants used to support students and teachers in the classroom. A one-time transitional fund, announced to replace these grants, does not cover the shortfall that comes with their removal. Unfortunately, the result has been a dramatic reduction in funding for Westwind and, after careful calculations, we are facing a $1 million funding shortfall for the 2019/20 school year.
The timing of this budget announcement means that we will need to make immediate adjustments to our budget, likely impacting classrooms, programs, and students. As we work to align our division budget with the new provincial budget, families should prepare for potential staff reduction resulting in less support in the classroom. There is also the possibility of changes to existing fee structures.
The Westwind School Division Board of Trustees and Administration have spent time over the past two weeks carefully reviewing the budget, examining all expenses, and identifying potential revenue sources. We continue to be committed to fostering engaging and student-centred learning environments and doing what is best for students.
We ask our Westwind families for their patience and support as we make challenging decisions about how best to address these shortfalls.