2020-21 Public School Funding Fails to Keep Pace with Inflation

2020-21 Public school funding fails to keep pace with inflation, enrollment
Announcement made against backdrop of K-12 Education Review

For the fourth year in a row, the Manitoba government has announced a real dollar drop in funding for public schools. And the prospect of doing more with even less next school year – against the backdrop of a March K-12 Education Review report – has teachers concerned.

“No matter how you look at it, a .5% “increase” doesn’t even play catch up to roughly 2% inflation and a 1% increase in student enrollment,” says The Manitoba Teachers’ Society President James Bedford. “Teachers face increases in enrollment and more diverse student needs than ever. This announcement is not robust enough to address these issues.”

A backgrounder distributed along with today’s government news release detailed the announcement’s impact on individual divisions. “We could very well see cuts to student programs, more school closures and teacher layoffs, and fewer supports for special needs students,” says Bedford.

Teachers are also looking forward to the report of Manitoba’s K-12 Education Review Commission in hopes the Society’s recommendations on French-language education, class size and composition, access to mental health supports, and diminishing the impact of poverty on students will be addressed.

Bedford cautions that any additional costs for implementing the K-12 education review recommendations must also come with adequate funding.