More education cash is coming, but criticism abounds

After years of underfunding, the UCP-led government plans to hire thousands more teachers and support staff, build new schools, expand student transportation, and push more money into charter schools.

“We are securing young Albertans’ and their families’ future by investing in new schools and modernized space, so that students, families and communities can benefit for decades to come,” said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange.

The news was first unveiled by the UCP in its pre-election budget, where education funding was bolstered by 5.2 per cent in 2023-24, compared to a 1.7 per cent increase in 2022-23.

The new cash means dozens of new school projects are moving forward, including a new francophone secondary school in Airdrie, a new K-9 school in Edmonton’s Edgemont neighbourhood, modernization of Calgary’s John G. Diefenbaker High School and a new high school in Raymond.

It also means 80,000 more students will be eligible for busing.

Public school teachers welcomed the initiatives, but complained they are not enough to make up for years of insufficient funding, cope with surging population and inflation, and deal with the lingering effects of the pandemic on students and teachers.

“It’s sad that schools have to wait for an election year when oil prices are high to get the funding they need,” said Jason Schilling, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. “Our students should always be able to expect appropriate funding independent of political and economic cycles.”

Danielle Smith’s government is also increasing support for Alberta’s popular charter schools. They will be allocated $171-million over three years to create 2,000 new student spaces and build an education hub in Calgary.

The UCP supports charter schools to increase school choice and promote competition, which it says results in better education outcomes across the board.

But critics say charter schools undermine the public system by syphoning resources from public education, which they say is obligated to educate all students, including those with unique needs.

“We need to be critical about applying a consumer lens to schooling through the concept of ‘choice’ and ‘commercial branding’ because this stacks educational opportunities for some while preventing access for others,” said Wing Li, communications director of Support Our Students Alberta. “We must return to the original democratic promise of public education which envisions a barrier-free, quality, and well-rounded education for every child.”

Do charter schools siphon resources away from public schools?
Sign in to vote and see poll results.

Other Issues and Articles


Polity V1 is our first commercial product, deployed for the first time in the Alberta 2023 Provincial Election. We have refined our previous design, enhanced our functionality, and invested in new technologies.

Read More

This Issue deals with the following Policy Cards

Policy Cards are policy action items that voters want the candidates to support if they’re elected. Tell the candidates which policies you support by voting on the Policy Cards!


Increase Spending in Education

I support this I’m against this


Push for Education Reform

I support this I’m against this

Revise the Curriculum

I support this I’m against this


  1. Anonymous Voter

    May 10, 2023 at 11:17 am

    Revisions to curriculum must be grounded in fact , accountability and focus on all aspects of our society and peoples

Log in to leave comments:

Log In
Close Window

Email Verification Error

The verification link has expired. Please, try to register a new account.

Close Window

Email Verification Needed

Please, check your mailbox for an activation link.

Close Window

Thank You!

Close Window


Close Window

Join Our Mailing List

Close Window

User login

Let your voice be heard

Forgot password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

Close Window

Forgot Your Password?

Enter the email address associated with your account and we'll send you a new password

Back to login
*If you do not see this email in your inbox, please check your spam folder
Close Window

Sign Up

Create your Polity account and let your voice be heard!