Manitoba’s public schools system will see another increase in the Funding of Schools Program for the 2021-22 school year of $20.8 million, or 1.56 per cent, for a total $1.35 billion, the highest total investment in Manitoba’s history, Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.
The increase includes $6.7 million, or a 0.5 per cent increase to base funding for public schools, and this year’s commitment includes an additional $5.5 million for special needs funding for school divisions, along with other grants. This special needs funding supports students with disabilities and with exceptional needs, providing student specific supports determined by school teams such as educational assistants or assistive technology.
“This announcement continues our commitment to the success of students by making record levels of annual investment in our student’s education while also keeping our students, teachers and staff safe,” said Cullen. “Our education system is one of the best funded in Canada, and parents need to know that our government will continue to support their children’s futures.”
Manitoba has the third-highest spending per student in Canada at $14,815, after Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.
The province committed that school divisions would not see their funding reduced due to enrolment variations because of COVID-19. The province will also continue to ensure all school divisions receive no less than 98 per cent of the operating funding they received a year earlier.
School divisions also raise revenue through local education property taxes. The Manitoba government will continue to support Manitobans by reducing the local property tax burden for ratepayers. School divisions will freeze their education property taxes and the province will provide a Property Tax Offset Grant equivalent to a two per cent property tax increase or $22.8 million. This is over and above the $20.8 million commitment for the Funding of Schools Program.
“The province remains committed to modernizing Manitoba’s education system to ensure our students are well prepared for whatever path they choose, whether it is post-secondary education, joining the workforce or staring their own business,” said Cullen. “Our students, parents and education staff need to know that regardless of the challenges we are facing, we will be there to support their educational needs and to ensure their children have the best opportunity for success.”
This annual funding commitment builds upon the previous announcement to support schools with the $185-million Safe Schools Funding for COVID-related expenses.
(Province of MB News Release)