Alberta’s government will be distributing $262 million in federal funding to school authorities for COVID-19 related expenses.
The federal government will be transferring the funding to the province in two phases – once in September and once later in the school year. The majority of the funding will be distributed to school authorities based on a per-student model, and it must be used to support additional COVID-19 related costs in one or more of the following categories:
Adapting learning spaces and personal protective equipment
Cleaning and safety considerations for schools and buses
Supports for special needs students
Online learning and teacher training
A total of $250 million will be distributed to school authorities on an equal per-student basis, with an additional $12 million dedicated to support school authorities who are seeing a large influx in enrolment due to increased demand for their online learning programs. This represents about $350 per student for the upcoming school year.
“School authorities said that they wanted as much flexibility as possible to use this funding in ways that are most important for their schools and communities. I recognize the importance of this, and am pleased to set broad criteria for use of this funding. I would also like to express appreciation to the federal government for identifying these dollars to help with a successful school year.” Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
Alberta’s total share of the federal funding is $262 million. This is in addition to increases in provincial funding, which includes a $120-million increase in provincial operating funding for this school year, $250 million in accelerated Capital Maintenance and Renewal Funding, $10 million in PPE, which includes 1.6 million masks for staff and students, and the authorization for school boards to access their reserves, of which there is $363 million available across Alberta.
This federal funding is also in addition to the $3.021 billion the province has invested for COVID-19 related operational spending across government as outlined in last week’s first quarter fiscal update.
The federal funding will immediately flow to school authorities once it is received from the federal government.
Alberta’s government remains committed to ensuring that our school authorities have the support and resources they require to ensure the safety of our staff and students.
Funding is provided by the federal government in two phases – a September payment and a payment later in the school year
The province must provide an outline of how funding was used in phase one, along with how additional funding would be used for the remainder of the school year before the funds are provided in phase two.
The federal government calculated Alberta’s funding based on Census population data for ages 4-18.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this release incorrectly stated how federal funding was calculated.
Provincial Press Release September 2, 2020 11:09 am Updated 12:39 pm