The Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) Board of Trustees approved its operating budget with a deficit of $21.5 million, balanced using district reserves. There are several CSSD schools in Airdrie including Our Lady Queen of Peace, Good Shepherd, St. Veronica, and St. Martin De Porres. 

According to a news release by CSSD, for 2024-2025, the district is budgeting $688.5 million in revenues, which is a 5.8 per cent increase and $710.0 million in expenditures in comparison to the prior year’s budget.

"The resulting $21.5 million deficit is funded using district savings. In this budget, the district will continue to add teachers and education assistants to classrooms, support increasing complexities in student profiles and invest in technology. For kindergarten to Grade 6 students, new transportation walk limits will also be implemented."

Acting Chief Superintendent John McDonald said that the while use of district savings to balance this budget allows the CCSD to continue to provide high-quality Catholic education to our students, it will also 'significantly deplete reserves in this budget.

"Without an increase in funding and with dwindling reserves, the CCSD will be required to continue to make difficult operational decisions that will impact our students and families for the 2025-2026 school year and future years," McDonald said.

The district said that it anticipates enrolment to grow by more than 2,000 students, or 3.3 per cent, by the end of September 2024, which is in addition to the prior year’s growth of 2,730 students (4.6 per cent).

Board Chair Shannon Cook added that the level of funding provided by the province falls substantially short of meeting the needs of our students.

"The CCSD has seen significant enrolment growth year over year without appropriate funding to address the growth. In preparing this budget, the CCSD balanced rising costs, inflationary pressures and insufficient funding. Very difficult decisions were made regarding the allocation of limited resources to support our students' needs, while still ensuring they receive high-quality learning opportunities."  

According to CSSD, funding from Alberta Education increased by $20.5 million over 2023-2024 funding.

"However, the province’s Weighted Moving Average (WMA) model leaves 1,562 students unfunded in September 2024, equal to $13.8 million. This funding gap is partially offset by $4.2 million in Supplemental Enrolment growth grants, leaving $9.6 million underfunded. CCSD also continues to face rising costs and reduced spending power due to inflation."

Over the past five years, costs have continued to rise, including those related to staffing, as well as utilities by 51 per cent and insurance by 34 per cent.

"Provincial grant rates remained unchanged, and no increases were provided to offset inflation. The district’s budgeted operating reserves for August 2025, excluding school generated funds, are projected to be $10.6 million, representing approximately 1.5 per cent of annual expenses. While within the provincial cap of 1.0 per cent to 6.0 per cent of annual expenses, the district will be unable to sustain current spending levels by drawing upon savings in the future."

The 2024-2025 CCSD budget was presented to and approved by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, May 22, at a regular board meeting, for submission to Alberta Education before the May 31 deadline.

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