Reactions continue to pour in regarding the recently announced 2023 Alberta budget. 

Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) are among the many provincial school divisions that are sharing their thoughts on the money being put into education. 

"There has been an increase of 5.2 [per cent] overall for K-to-12 education in the province," said Trina Boymook, the EIPS board chair. "We're certainly cautiously optimistic about the new education budget but we will know better once we get the funding manual in the coming weeks." 

"We'll be able then to fully unpack the budget and start translating what it's going to mean for the students at Elk Island Public Schools." 

One of the areas that EIPS has been advocating for more support on is dealing with high inflation prices for food. 

"We do have a few of those school nutrition programs that are funded by the province," said Boymook. "With the rising costs of food, we needed to see the funding for this be reflected in that increased cost of inflation so we can continue to provide the same level of nutritious food to our students on a daily basis." 

One thing that EIPS does know is that, despite the increase in education spending, there are a few previous areas of funding not included in this year's budget. 

"It looks like there is some funding that we previously received that is no longer being offered and is being reallocated back," said Boymook. "We do know there is new funding in, but in some cases, there is a reallocation of funds from one area redirected somewhere else." 

"We'll need to take a really good look at that to see the true impact." 

Student transportation was another hot topic surrounding this year's budget. EIPS is excited by what they have seen so far. 

"[The government] is introducing a new funding formula that changes the eligibility for students to receive funded student transportation," said Boymook. "Currently, [students who live] 2.4 kilometres or more from their designated school are eligible for student transportation." 

"EIPS has always provided enhanced service for those that are not eligible at a fee."

The proposed changes will see that eligibility distance decreased to one kilometre for elementary-age students and two kilometres for students in grades 7 to 12. 

There are still things that need to be figured out about this new funding formula for student transportation. EIPS will await a meeting with the minister's office to go over the specifics. 

The budget also included funding for a replacement school to be built for Sherwood Heights and Ecole Campbelltown students. 

To read the whole budget click here