+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 20-03F

Sparsity Funding For Education

January 1, 2003
Expiry Date:
December 1, 2006
Active Status:
Vote Results:

WHEREAS schools are an integral part of viable communities in rural Alberta and many schools face closure due to funding formulas that do not make allowance for low enrolment;AND WHEREAS parent groups in many rural communities have to work casinos to do fundraising to help pay for teachers salaries to be able to maintain the number of teachers per classrooms in their schools;AND WHEREAS rural schools used to receive a special grant from Alberta Education to provide a satisfactory complement of teachers for schools where there was low enrolment, which was separate and apart from the school board regular funding and was paid on a per room basis;AND WHEREAS sparsity funding is necessary to provide sound, fair education to all rural children so as to avoid a two-tiered education system;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to re-implement the sparsity funding grant for rural schools to provide sufficient funds to maintain adequate classrooms in rural schools to provide a sound education.

Member Background:

Education in rural Alberta is facing crisis in many communities due to the formulas used by Alberta Education and school boards. Some rural school boards are presently developing policies regarding pupil/teacher ratios where education dollars per school are based on student populations. Due to population sparsity in many of the rural areas, schools are threatened to be closed or parents are forced to fundraise to keep their schools open.Alberta Education used to have a grant given to schools that was based on classrooms and would attend to a satisfactory complement for these rural schools that had fewer students. The sparsity grant provided additional funds for schools with lower enrolment, allowing students in the rural areas to get a sound education despite the low student population. Rural Alberta needs to have these sparsity grants reimplemented and have the funds directed to making up the difference in the per-student shortfall for schools, where low enrolment may affect the type of education children are getting.Many parent groups in rural Alberta have had to resort to fundraising, working casinos to raise enough money to pay teachers salaries to be able to keep the contingent of teachers that they currently have. Parent participation is necessary in a community to keep it viable and strong, but their efforts should be for extras for their childrens education and not the essentials.

RMA Background:

The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to this issue.

Provincial Ministries:
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