News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 27, 2011

PROVINCE INVESTS OVER $1.1 BILLION IN EDUCATION FUNDING


Government Providing 2.7 Per Cent Increase to Public Schools: Allan

Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today the Manitoba government is investing an additional 2.7 per cent or $30 million in public schools this year, bringing the overall budget to $1.135 billion, meeting the government’s commitment to fund the public-school system at or above the rate of economic growth for the 12th straight year.

“Our government believes that student success in school is important to Manitoba’s future.  School is a place where we grow and learn to succeed.  Nothing is more important for our kids and for our province’s future.  We all want young people to succeed.  Now more than ever, success requires education and training.  Our commitment to education will help Manitoba continue to grow and thrive,” said Allan.

Education funding has increased by $363.7 million since 1999, representing a 47.2 per cent increase in overall support.

“Our government considers quality education a cornerstone of future economic growth and the key to preparing students for further education at the post-secondary level, or helping them enter careers in skilled trades,” said Allan.

The province will make the Tax Incentive Grant (TIG) available for a fourth year.  This grant allows school divisions to increase expenditures while holding the line on property taxes, the minister said, adding the province will work in partnership with school divisions to continue to keep taxes low.  According to Statistics Canada, Manitoba is the only province in Canada where property taxes have remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2010.

“We want to promote excellence and academic success as well as fairness for taxpayers,” said Allan.   “We  previously eliminated the education support levy on residential property, saving Manitoba taxpayers $145 million per year.”

Every school division in Manitoba is guaranteed at least a 2.2 per cent grant increase this year in anticipation of higher enrolments due to the province’s pending legislation mandating that young people continue their education until they reach the age of 18. 

“This year, we will focus on several changes and improvements to the school system to better inform parents about student achievements.  We also want to actively engage students in learning and help them stay in school until the age of 18.  Manitoba’s graduation rate has increased almost 12 per cent since 2001 and we want to see that number continue to increase in coming years.”

Particular attention will be paid to students who are considered at risk of dropping out of school.  The province has allocated $690,000 in new funding for stay-in-school initiatives that address truancy,  introducereading apprenticeship programs, further support and enhance the Inner-City Science Lab, and develop new ways to help more students be successful.

This builds on existing programs to increase school attendance for at-risk youth including Bright Futures.  The government has tripled funding for Bright Futures since it was introduced in 2008 to
$3 million annually.

In addition, the province continues to provide $600,000 toward the Student Success Initiative pilot project in the Winnipeg, Lakeshore and Kelsey school divisions, which is aimed at keeping children in school and increasing graduation rates.

The 2011-12 budget includes $1.3 million more for special-needs students and a three per cent rate increase for level two and level three funding.  The province has increased special-needs funding in each budget since 1999 and annual funding is now $186.1 million, an overall increase of
51.5 per cent, Allan said.

Additional highlights of this year’s public school budget include:

  • Nearly $1 million more in new funding for English as an additional language, which has increased by 320 per cent since 1999 to over $10.5 million in 2011-12 from $2.5 million in 1999-2000.  Included in this is $50,000 for the Intensive Newcomer Support Grant introduced in 2006-07.  Since this time, funding for this initiative has increased by 152.5 per cent to $505,000 in 2011-12 from $200,000 in 2006-07.
  • $303,700 for the Early Childhood Development Initiative including a new Early Development Instrument Supplement to ensure children are ready to start school.
  • $75,000 to hire a new Technical Vocational Initiative co-ordinator to serve the Interlake and Central regions.
  • $10.8 million more for equalization funding, a 5.5 per cent increase from last year, which helps to  ensure school divisions with low tax bases are still able to offer high quality programs and services to students. 

The minister noted the government will also soon be entering into broad consultation with parents, educators and school boards on how to improve our education system, as announced in the throne speech.

“Our province is moving forward with an aggressive agenda for education reform including a parent-friendly report card that will be piloted in the 2011-12 school year,” Allan said.  “Our investments today will support this period of reform as we work together with educators, parents and communities to make Manitoba a leader in education.” 

- 30 -