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More dollars going into classrooms to support today’s students


6 minute read

Staffing projections show up to 1,600 more teachers and support staff will be hired in the upcoming school year. Alberta’s government is also providing school authorities additional funding to support higher salaries for teachers, address enrolment growth and support francophone education.

More staff in schools

School authorities are projecting up to 800 more teachers and principals will be hired in the upcoming school year. This represents an increase of 2.2 per cent from the certificated staff in the 2021/22 school year and means more teachers in the classroom supporting Alberta’s students.

Additionally, an increase of approximately 800 support staff is also expected. This includes classroom-based educational and teacher assistants and represents an increase of 3.1 per cent from the previous school year.

“I’m thrilled to see more teachers and educational assistants will be hired in the coming school year. Alberta’s school board reserve policy has played an important role in directing today’s education dollars towards today’s students.”

Adriana LaGrange, Education Minister

Funding to support higher salaries for teachers

Alberta’s government is also providing up to an additional $50 million in 2022/23 to cover recently ratified bargaining agreements with teachers. By funding these agreements, Alberta’s government is further ensuring stability for school authorities.

“ASBA appreciates that the government will provide funding for the recently ratified teacher bargaining agreements in addition to providing targeted supports for enrolment growth as school boards face rapidly increasing student populations. This funding will help offset pressures and enable boards to address operational needs while they continue to make informed decisions in support of students and their local school communities across Alberta.”

Marilyn Dennis, president, Alberta School Boards Association

“ASBOA welcomes the commitment to fund teacher collective agreements, and the additional funding to support enrolment growth and francophone education in Alberta. This announcement provides greater funding certainty for publicly funded education as we are about to start a new school year.”

François Gagnon, president, Association of School Business Officials of Alberta

Additional funding for enrolment growth

More than $7 million in additional funding will be provided to school authorities through a new enrolment growth grant. Early childhood services (ECS) operators will also receive support if they see significant enrolment increases.

The funding available through this new supplemental enrolment growth grant provides for additional student funding for authority enrolment growth above a set threshold, with higher rates for more growth.

“While the CASS Board of Directors recognizes that the current funding formula softens the impact of enrollment decline, we are pleased to see that this announcement will allow divisions to better meet their needs when addressing significant enrollment growth.”

Scott Morrison, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents

“The Association of Independent Schools & Colleges in Alberta appreciates the additional funding that is being allocated to school authorities that are seeing significant growth. The Supplemental Enrollment Grant will allow schools to better meet the needs of a growing student population, and ensure their students receive an educational experience that prepares them for future success.”

Abraham Abougouche, president, Association of Independent Schools and Colleges of Alberta 

Redesigned grant for francophone school authorities

About $5 million in additional funding will be provided to francophone school boards through an updated francophone equivalency grant. This increased investment means that in the 2022/23 school year, Alberta Education will allocate $7 million to francophone school authorities to support francophone education in Alberta.

“The Fédération des conseils scolaires francophones de l’Alberta welcomes the announcement of an adjustment to school funding to better meet the needs of francophone students in the province. We appreciate the collaborative work that has taken place over the past few months to make the challenges faced by francophone school boards heard. Their reality is unique and the response to their challenges must, by that very fact, be unique.”

Tanya Saumure, president, la Fédération des conseils scolaires francophones de l’Alberta (FCSFA)

Quick facts

  • Increased staffing levels will be supported by the use of operating reserves in the 2022/23 school year.
    • The Minister of Education recently approved 64 requests to use operating reserves for the 2022/23 school year. This included $88 million in requests for reserves to be spent on staffing, instruction and educational assistants.
  • By the end of the 2022/23 school year, maximum operating reserve amounts will be set for school boards, as described in the Funding Manual for School Authorities to ensure public dollars go to educational purposes in the same year the funding is provided.
  • The limit on allowable reserve balances was signaled to school jurisdictions with the new funding model in 2020.
  • School authorities will also receive additional funding from the province to support higher than expected fuel costs, while monthly average diesel prices exceed $1.25 per litre.

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Hot rental market makes search ‘stressful’ for many — and it won’t get better soon

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Marissa Giesinger is pictured in Calgary, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023. On the hunt for a rental home in Calgary over the last six weeks, Giesinger and her boyfriend trawled through listings morning, noon and night, only to find most come along with dozens of applications and a steep price tag. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

By Tara Deschamps in Toronto

On the hunt for a rental home in Calgary over the last six weeks, Marissa Giesinger and her boyfriend trawled through listings morning, noon and night, only to find most come along with dozens of applications and a steep price tag. As an added difficulty, many landlords are unwelcoming to the couple’s brood — dogs Kado and Rosco and a cat named Jester.

“We made the tough decision recently to house our dogs with someone else until we can find a place that’s affordable and we can take both of them,” said Giesinger, a 23-year-old Mount Royal University student.

“It’s definitely been stressful.”

The competitive rental market Giesinger has encountered in Calgary is being seen across the country as multiple factors combine: high interest rates deter buyers and add to rental demand, still-high inflation is squeezing renter budgets, there’s an undersupply of purpose-built rental units and population growth is fuelling demand.

These conditions have left prospective renters feeling even more frustrated than usual by sky-high rents, the frenzy of interest that surrounds any affordable listing and the litany of demands landlords can make when so many people are interested in their home.

Giacomo Ladas, communications director for, calls it “almost a perfect storm” — and it isn’t likely to ease up any time soon.

“What this does is create such a burden on this rental housing market that even though we’re out of the (busy) summer rental season, there’s so much demand that (these conditions are) going to continue like this until the fall and into the winter,” he said.

Data crunched by his organization and research firm shows average asking rents for newly-listed units in Canada increased 1.8 per cent between July and August and 9.6 per cent from a year earlier to reach a record high of $2,117 last month.

Between May and August, asking rents in Canada increased by 5.1 per cent or an average of $103 per month.

When Giesinger rented a two-bedroom basement unit with a roommate a few years ago, the duo paid $1,000 per month, but now she routinely spots “super tiny,” one-bedroom places for $1,350 a month.

“If you want a basement suite or an apartment, you’re looking at minimum $1,200 and that doesn’t include any utilities or anything like that unless it’s a super rare listing,” Giesinger said. data show newly listed one-bedroom properties in Calgary priced at an average $1,728 per month in August, up 21.6 per cent from a year earlier. Two-bedroom homes have climbed 17.4 per cent to $2,150 over the same period.

The picture in Vancouver and Toronto is far bleaker. found the cities had the highest rents in the country.

Newly-listed one-bedroom properties in Vancouver averaged $2,988 in August, up 13.1 per cent from a year earlier, while two-bedroom units hit $3,879, an almost 10 per cent increase year-over-year.

Newly-listed Toronto one-bedroom homes averaged $2,620 in August, up almost 11 per cent from the year before, while two-bedroom properties had a 7.1 per cent rise over the same time frame to $3,413.

It’s numbers like these that have convinced Kanishka Punjabi to abandon her hopes of moving in the near term.

“Two days ago, I gave up on my search because the rental market is that bad,” she said.

The public relations worker has been living in Mississauga, Ont., but felt it was time to find a home in downtown or midtown Toronto, closer to where she works.

However, few of the two-bedroom homes she spotted in her two-month search were within her $2,800 budget.

For example, one apartment she liked at the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton streets had 25 offers in just over a week.

“Some people actually just sent in their offer without looking at the apartment too because there are so many people who are in desperate need of rental units,” said Punjabi. “There’s just not enough.”

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has projected that the country needs to build 3.5 million additional homes beyond what’s planned before the market reaches some semblance of affordability.

It also calculated that the annual pace of housing starts — when construction begins on a home — edged down one per cent in August to 252,787 units compared with 255,232 in July.

Despite the nudge down, Rishi Sondhi, an economist with TD Bank Group, said it has been a strong year for starts because the industry is responding to elevated prices by building at a robust pace.

But between population growth and rising interest rates, he said, “supply is struggling to keep up with demand” and that’s bound to weigh on renters for quite some time.

“In the short term, it would be unrealistic to expect too much of a reprieve simply because population growth is likely to remain strong through the duration of this year — and that’s really one of the big fundamental drivers,” he said.

“In addition, it’s unlikely to expect affordability in the ownership market to improve too much either because we think the Bank of Canada (key rate) is going to be on hold for the remainder of the year, but there is some risk that they take rates even higher, especially if inflation doesn’t co-operate.”

For renters like Giesinger that message puts even more pressure on her to settle on a place soon.

“Now I’m scrambling to find the money for a deposit and we’re still never really sure like what kind of place we’re going to get,” she said.

“And when you’re battling dozens of other people for a rental it can be super stressful.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2023.

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UCP asks Albertans to consider an Alberta Pension Plan

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News release from the United Conservative party

The Government of Alberta is starting a public engagement to discuss the possibility of creating an Alberta Pension Plan.
You might be wondering, what’s in it for you? Learn more by watching the short video below:

The government is eager to hear your views. To find more information, and participate in a survey, tap the button below.


Albertans deserve a pension plan that reflects their hard work and earnings, and it is up to Albertans to decide which pension plan that is.
-Your UCP Team



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