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2024-2025 EICS school year budget approved

Posted on: news release trustees
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The Elk Island Catholic Schools (EICS) Board of Trustees approved a budget of $84 million for the 2024-2025 school year at its May 29 public meeting. Inadequate funding from the province will require the division to utilize a portion of its reserves to cover increased student enrolment and inflationary costs. 

Alberta Education is providing $78.8 million; the balance is supported through fees and other division resources. Although the government’s funding increased by $769,000 compared to the 2023-2024 school year’s budget, it is only funding enrolment growth, not the more than $3 million in inflationary costs that EICS has experienced.

“The reality and evidence are clear and show that we are not being sufficiently funded, and force our hand into having to make difficult decisions once again,” said Le-Ann Ewaskiw, Board Chair of the EICS Board of Trustees. “We will continue to advocate for equitable funding that addresses inflationary costs and also introduce a request to provide full in-year funding adjustments based on actual enrolments, not out-of-date information. Funding that accounts for these two factors will have a clear and direct benefit on our students and staff.”

“I am appreciative of our secretary-treasurer, our administrative teams at our Central Learning Services and our school admin as we find our way through next year’s budget,” said EICS Superintendent Paul Corrigan. “They have been diligent in finding ways to minimize the impact of this budget on our students.”

Under the province’s Weighted Moving Average funding model, 50% of funding for the next school year is based on an enrolment projection school districts provide in January. Another 30% of the funding is based on student enrolment for the current school year, and 20% is based on enrolment for the prior year. When actual enrolment is higher than what is projected, the province provides an in-year funding adjustment that assists in offsetting the challenges of changing enrolment, but it is only a fraction of the total grant for a full-time student.

In January, EICS was projecting 8,419 full-time equivalent students for the 2024-2025 school year – down 1% from the current school year. However, enrolment numbers at the end of May suggest a student enrolment increase – due in part to the popularity of the division’s Cogito Academy in Sherwood Park and Fort Saskatchewan, which launched this year. 

The vast majority of budget dollars in Elk Island Catholic Schools are used on staffing teachers and educational assistants in the classroom. The inflationary costs include benefits and utilities, and cannot help but put pressure on the division’s ability to hire sufficient staff. The EICS board of Trustees has dedicated itself to continued advocacy to the provincial government to address these funding issues.

For additional information about the 2024-2025 budget, visit the EICS Budget and Financial Statements webpage.