News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 28, 2010


The Manitoba government is once again exceeding its commitment to fund public education at the rate of economic growth with a 2.95 per cent increase to public school funding, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.
“I strongly believe that a 2.95 per cent increase to public schools despite difficult economic times demonstrates this government’s commitment to education and will help meet the needs of parents, students and taxpayers across the province,” Allan said. “We have been working co-operatively with school divisions and we are continuing to urge restraint in order to ensure that expenditures are managed carefully and property taxes remain affordable.”
In contrast to this year’s 2.95 per cent funding increase, the Manitoba economy is forecast to contract by 0.2 per cent in 2009. This is the smallest decrease among all provinces and significantly better than the projected national decrease of 2.4 per cent.
“The province’s Tax Incentive Grant is being continued for a third consecutive year in order to allow divisions to increase expenditures and keep taxes at last year’s levels,” Allan said.
Statistics Canada has reported Manitoba is the only province to have seen average property taxes decrease from 2000 to 2008. Allan noted current school division surpluses exceed $54 million and in this uncertain economic climate these surpluses can be a valuable tool for some divisions in supporting public education.
This year’s announcement will see every school division receive at least a two per cent grant increase which will provide stability in the face of reassessment effects on funding and enrolment declines, the minister said. 
Highlights of this funding increase include:
·         providing $17.2 million in equalization payments, particularly to those divisions with a low tax base;
·         increasing funding for English as an additional language (EAL) by $1 million;
·         providing $600,000 for a new initiative to work with schools in low-income communities and support students identified as at risk of leaving school;
·         increasing funding to $300 from $275 per pupil for early childhood development to help preschoolers get ready for school; and
·         increasing funding by $133,000 to support education in youth detention centres.
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