Provincial funding for public elementary and secondary education will increase by $6.6 million for the 2019-20 school year to a total in excess of $1.329 billion, Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
“This is the highest level of funding in Manitoba history that shows our commitment to Manitoba students despite our current economic realities,” said Goertzen. “Since 2016, our government has increased funding to school divisions by more than $26 million.”
School funding in Manitoba is calculated using the Funding of Schools Program formula, which guarantees divisions receive at least 98 per cent of the previous year’s total. Funding increases or decreases are based on several factors that include a change in enrolment numbers, capital costs, equalization payments and the phase-out of the Tax Incentive Grant.
School divisions receive funding from the province as well as through locally collected school board property taxes. The province is once again directing divisions to cap increases to their local education property tax at two per cent for the 2019-20 school year and will ask divisions to continue to reduce administrative costs.
“We appreciate school divisions’ efforts to help control costs and create efficiency in the public education system,” said Goertzen. “As divisions create their budgets for the year ahead, we hope they make decisions that consider both students’ needs and the impact on taxpayers.”
The minister noted the mandate under The Public Services Sustainability Act (Bill 28) will help relieve financial pressure on school divisions and control salary costs, which represent about 80 per cent of education expenses.
Yesterday, Goertzen announced a Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education, which will guide a comprehensive independent review of Manitoba’s education system and include public consultation in the months ahead. The minister expects the commission to submit a report with key findings and recommendations by February 2020.