Preliminary review of 2013-14 budget

March 12, 2013

Since the provincial budget was announced on March 7, administration has had some opportunity to review what it means for the Calgary Board of Education in more detail. There is still more work to be done, but our preliminary analysis has revealed our budget is worse than it initially seemed to be.

No matter what decisions are made in response to the budget, know two things:

  1. Maximizing the dollars directed to students in classrooms remains a top priority; and
  2. We will still move forward in spite of the budget. The CBE is one of the best public education systems in the world. We are committed to the best possible learning for our students today while continuing to advance our practice for the future.

Our preliminary review of the budget

Our initial calculations suggest that CBE funding will be essentially the same for 2013-14 as the current school year. This only partly captures the impact of the budget on students. While funding is flat, costs will increase, including but not limited to:

  • salary increases already negotiated for specific employee groups, i.e., Staff Association and CUPE;
  • grid movement;
  • inflation; and
  • increased enrolment.


The CBE expects to welcome about 3,000 more students for 2013-14. Though the government said the budget would fully fund enrolment, the funding for CBE increased enrolment is largely offset by specific funding cuts in other areas. It means we are expected to maintain student learning outcomes for three per cent more students with essentially the same overall revenue as 2012-13.

Funding impact on vulnerable students

English-language learning (ELL) students and students with severe special needs are two of the hardest-hit areas of the budget. The funding cuts for these students are:

  • $5.3 million for ELL funding; and
  • $4.2 million for students with severe special needs (related to plant, operations and maintenance).

This provincial budget decision hits the CBE students especially hard because we teach almost half of Alberta’s ELL students and a high proportion of Alberta’s students with severe special needs.

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