CBE dips into reserves to balance proposed budget
Alberta Education Minister plans to launch an operational review over busing plan
Calgary's public school board released its operating budget for the next school year amid a dispute with Alberta's education minister over its new transportation plan.
The Calgary Board of Education will spend $1,379.5 million on operations and $22.9 million on capital spending, dipping nearly $10 million into its reserves to balance the budget.
Schools will be getting an additional 92 full-time equivalent teaching positions and 26 additional full-time equivalent support staff. However, individual school budgets will be reduced by 1.4 per cent.
- Read the proposed budget here.
No extra money spent on busing
The budget includes a $18.3 million grant to cover the provincial government's promise to reduce or eliminate busing and school fees.
Under the proposal, students in kindergarten to Grade 9 living more than 2.4 kilometres away from their designated regular school won't pay any busing fees.
A point of contention between the school board and Alberta Education Minister David Eggen is a plan to move another 1,300 middle grade students in alternative programs from a yellow school bus to public transit at a greater cost to parents.
Eggen has said he will be "reaching out to CBE officials in the coming days to initiate an operational review."
The budget reflects "best estimates and assumptions" that transportation expenses will be fully funded by the provincial grant, along with fees from students who don't qualify, according to the budget documents.
"No dollars will be contributed from the global budget to support transportation," it reads.
The CBE is anticipating more than 121,000 students next fall.
Capital spending includes $2.6 million earmarked to help with new schools opening in 2018-2019, $2.2 million for wireless upgrades, $5.6 million for technology replacements and $7 million towards developing and implementing a new student information system.
Trustees will vote on the budget June 20.