Budget Pressures on Education

Last week, the Alberta government released the provincial budget. Given increasing fiscal pressures, there are three major points worth noting with regard to education:

1) The government and the Alberta teachers association continue to position themselves on teacher salaries. Because funds are tight, the government is insisting on a 3 year wage freeze. Meanwhile some groups, such as the Frontier Centre, have encouraged the government to look at creative new arrangements such as merit pay for teachers. Some details here and here.

2) The budget restores the link between education tax rates and the costs associated with delivering education. This will likely mean tax increases over the long term to pay for increasing education costs. Details here.

3) It seems that proposals for full day kindergarten have, at this point, been scrapped. This is good new. Full day kindergarten is totally unnecessary and has no demonstrated positive impacts on education.