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Chinook’s Edge pleased with new fuel funding, superintendent says

Extra diesel fuel dollars allocated by the province could provide school division with $100,000 that won't have to come from other division budgets, says Kurt Sacher
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Kurt Sacher, Chinook's Edge School Division superintendent File photo

INNISFAIL — School divisions will be receiving about $8.4 million in additional funding for student transportation under a provincial program being reinstated in response to recent increased diesel costs.

The Chinook’s Edge School Division could see in excess of $100,000, depending on the final formula used to calculate the funding, says superintendent Kurt Sacher.

“It’s great news,” said Sacher. “This is funding that would have had to come from other budgets in the school division. We are really pleased.”

The Alberta government says it is reinstating the Fuel Price Contingency Program to help public, separate, francophone and public charter school authorities while monthly average diesel prices exceed $1.25 per litre. 

The program will be enacted retroactively to March and will remain in place for the 2022-23 school year.

“By providing further fuel cost relief to support transportation services for more than 300,000 kindergarten to Grade 12 students, we are helping prevent service reductions and additional fees for families,” Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education, said in a press release. 

The program will provide about $8.2 million in additional student transportation funding from March through June, based on an estimated average diesel price of $1.80 per litre. 

Eligible school authorities will receive payment for these four months according to established bus route distances. 

The 11,000 student Chinook's Edge School Division is headquartered in Innisfail.