Posted September 02, 2018 07:14:56 The province is spending more money on students’ education in the past two years than in the previous five years.
As a result, students’ enrolment is down from 15.5 per cent in 2018-19 to 13.7 per cent this year.
It is not just Manitoba, but across Canada, that is on the decline.
A report by the Fraser Institute, an independent think-tank, says Canada’s education system has been in crisis for decades, and a new report says it is “not a long-term trend.”
The Fraser Institute said public education spending in Canada is down by $1.4 billion between 2018-2019 and 2019-20.
The report said that includes an estimated $1 billion for the 2016-17 school year.
Public education spending has been trending down for decades The report says a combination of low levels of demand for public education and declining enrolment has been driving a steep decline in spending for public school students since the 1970s.
“The public education system is facing a serious shortfall,” said the report, which was released on Tuesday.
The Fraser report says Canada is on track to miss its 2020 target of increasing spending on public education to 10 per cent of gross domestic product.
Public funding has been steadily declining for decades as the proportion of GDP devoted to education has declined.
The percentage of GDP allocated to public school education has fallen from about 30 per cent to just 9 per cent between 1980 and 2010.
It has been on a decline for the past 15 years.
The total amount of public school funding for education has also been decreasing.
The Canadian Association of School Boards’ 2017-18 report shows spending on education fell by 5.7 percent in 2019-2020 compared with the previous year.
In 2020-21, the CSAB forecast public funding will drop further, to 8.1 per cent.
The federal government also forecast that the Canadian public school system will shrink by 1.5 percentage points to 1.6 per cent by 2021-22.
The average amount of funding per student in the province is $8,600.
The CSAL expects that public funding for schools in Manitoba will drop to less than 1 per cent over the next five years, falling to less that 1.3 per cent for schools on the province’s northern border with Ontario.
The province has been the largest contributor to the federal government’s funding for public schools in recent years, providing more than $7.5 billion.
The Liberals say they are committed to raising the public school fund.
“We are taking the long-awaited step of increasing funding to public schools and our provincial partners,” Education Minister Scott Brison said in a statement.
“This is a time of great change in the education system in Manitoba and it is critical that the resources and support are directed toward the students and families who will benefit most from this change.”
The federal budget also includes an additional $2.5 million for teachers, $1 million to increase the size of the classroom and $1,000 for an expansion of the Winnipeg-Halton school division.
Manitoba’s Public School Funding Report says the province will spend about $732 million on schools this year, which is about $2 million more than the previous financial year.
This is about one-third of the total provincial spending on schools in 2020-20, the report says.
It said the provincial government is on pace to spend about 1.8 per cent more on schools than the 2017-19 fiscal year.