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Education

Positive changes coming for K-12 students after completion of funding review

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Education

Positive changes coming for K-12 students after completion of funding review

Media Contacts
Ministry of Education
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 356-5963
Media Contacts
Ministry of Education
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 356-5963

Backgrounders

Education funding model review history, implementation

The Ministry of Education’s annual operating fund for K-12 public education is more than $6 billion and is distributed among 60 boards of education throughout B.C.

For over a decade, education stakeholders – including teachers, parents, First Nations and school boards – have called for changes to address inconsistencies and potential gaps in the way education is funded. Throughout the review, most partners also noted that the way education is funded doesn’t keep pace with the new curriculum and the way students learn in school today.

Government worked in partnership with the BC School Trustees Association to create guiding principles, ensuring improvements are responsive, stable and predictable, flexible, transparent and accountable.

The Independent Funding Model Review panel presented a final report on Dec. 18, 2018, with 22 recommendations along three themes: equity, accountability and financial management. To understand what these recommendations would mean for students in the classroom, working groups were established in spring 2019. Members included parents, support staff, teachers, inclusive education advocacy groups and First Nations.

Final reports were completed in October 2019, and working groups noted that some of the recommendations would be relatively straightforward to implement, while others – like how government funds inclusive education or online learning – would require extensive work to ensure there would be no negative, unintended consequences for students.

Read the independent review panel's final report and recommendations; working group reports; submissions from education stakeholders; and find out more information about the funding model review here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/resource-management/k-12-funding-and-allocation/funding-model

Implementation plan

The ministry will implement recommendations with a two-phase plan.

Changes for the 2020-21 school year include starting to implement 12 of the 22 recommendations (specifically recommendations 2, 3, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22). These include the new supplement to recognize vulnerable students, strengthening targeted funding policies for Indigenous students and accountability improvements. More information about these recommendations can be found in the panel’s final report.

During Phase 2, the ministry will continue working with partners to:

  • modernize inclusive education policies and the way services are delivered and funded, so all students have a level playing field;
  • modernize the delivery of online learning programs over the next three school years to better support the new curriculum and ensure every student has consistent access to a quality education, no matter where they live; and 
  • support students’ transition to post-secondary and the world of work with expanded career-focused programs in their graduation years.     

The ministry is committed to collaborating with education partners to monitor progress, ensuring the strategies that are proven to work best to improve student outcomes are identified and implemented.

What people are saying about the education funding model implementation

Andrea Sinclair, president, BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) –

“Parents across the province have stated the importance of having our children's mental health as a priority, and we are thankful to the ministry for listening. BCCPAC strongly believes that the ministry is being prudent by ensuring some of the implications of the new funding model are studied further before being implemented. We will continue to represent parents by providing input to ensure all students are supported fairly so there is full equity, transparency and accountability in education funding.”

Jennifer Charlesworth, B.C.’s representative for children and youth –

“This is a positive move toward creating better educational and life outcomes for children and youth in care in B.C. I am very encouraged that the Ministry of Education has followed through on key recommendations from our office’s 2017 Room for Improvement report. I appreciate the efforts of ministry staff to spearhead these important changes, as well as the input of the BC Teachers’ Federation, school trustees and school superintendents, to collaboratively address the learning needs of children who are often very vulnerable as a result of their life experiences.”

Kimberly Alaric, former youth in care and member of youth advisory councils (provincial MCFD YAC and Okanagan YAC) –

“As a former youth in care, I believe this change would have assisted my school in further supporting the struggling youth within the community. This would have helped my school put a greater focus on the extra supports some kids in care need. Although I was fortunate enough to have access to the breakfast program three times per week, for some students this may not be enough. Since aging out of care, I have taken advantage of the Provincial Tuition Waiver program. This program has not only allowed me to earn a post-secondary education, it has allowed me to transition into adulthood virtually debt free.”  

Paul Faoro, president, CUPE BC –

“On behalf of the more than 27,000 CUPE members working in the K-12 system, I’m pleased that our union was included in the review process. We are broadly supportive of the recommendations that are being implemented, and we will continue to work with the provincial government to ensure that our public education system is fully funded by provincial revenues. The previous government’s unilateral and confrontational approach to education policy and funding was extremely damaging to student outcomes, and we strongly support Minister Fleming and the government’s broad and inclusive consultations to ensure that education funding is focused, transparent and provides the greatest level of opportunities for students to succeed.”

Teri Mooring, president, British Columbia Teachers' Federation –

“It’s reassuring to see the government moving forward with changes to the education funding model in such a measured and purposeful way. I am pleased to see the minister of education commit to spend more time working with teachers and other stakeholders on the remaining recommendations, especially the funding for inclusive education.

I also want to congratulate the government on adding a supplement to support children and youth in care. Whether it’s hot lunch programs, mental health supports or extra counselling, we know those students need more, and I am thrilled to hear help is on the way to them. It’s an incredibly important change that will help undo some of the damage done by the previous government.”

Karla Verschoor, executive director, Inclusion BC –

“Inclusion BC is encouraged to see better outcomes for diverse learners is a priority for government within an enhanced accountability framework. Also, the government’s commitment to ongoing engagement with districts, parents and groups like Inclusion BC is a positive response to the concerns raised during the funding model review. Taking the time to test and pilot new strategies for improving classroom supports will provide much-needed clarity for families and school districts as inclusive education moves forward.”

Tracy Humphreys, founder and chair, BCEdAccess

“As an organization of families of children and youth with disabilities and complex learners, public accountability is a top priority. We are encouraged to see more parent and guardian input into school district strategic planning and budgeting. Prioritizing Indigenous students and children and youth in care is the right thing to do and will support many of the students who are a part of our advocacy work. We look forward to continuing work with education stakeholders on some of the more complex panel recommendations, to prioritize equitable access to education and inclusion for all.”

 

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