The Manitoba government is allocating more than $20 million to build on previous investments that strengthen student support and learning across kindergarten to Grade 12 schools in the upcoming school year, Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko announced today.
"Throughout the pandemic, teachers and school staff have worked hard to engage students, be nimble and keep everyone as safe as possible," said Ewasko. "We have heard directly from school divisions what they need to move forward and we are supporting those needs with this funding and provincial planning."
This additional funding will help schools continue to address student learning with a focus on re-engaging students whose learning has been most disrupted during the pandemic, noted the minister.
In response to consultations with school divisions across the province and as part of the government's implementation of actions in Manitoba's K to 12 Education Action Plan, this $20-million fund will prioritize:
- investments in literacy and numeracy;
- mental health and well-being;
- student re-engagement; and
- additional supports for students with diverse learning needs.
The province will allocate:
- $11 million on a per-pupil basis to give school divisions and schools the flexibility to direct funding as needed;
- $9 million in targeted investments for students and schools most affected by the pandemic including funding to support those with delayed entry and students returning from home-school arrangements; and
- $200,000 to the Pembina Trails and St. James-Assiniboia school divisions to offer free credit recovery summer school programming for Manitoba high school students through InformNet.
In addition to the $20 million in funding announced today, $3 million has been dedicated toward Teachers' Idea Fund proposals that emphasize mental health and well-being. This includes initiatives that focus on social and emotional learning, and provide enhanced mental health resources and support for the students and staff in schools.
"Our community, our families, our students and staff - not only in our division but across the province - have been through so much while continuing to navigate the ever-changing realities of the global pandemic," said Cheryl Smukowich, board chair, St. James-Assiniboia School Division. "The province providing additional monetary support is greatly needed as we adapt to our new normal. Acknowledging the 'whole' child, including the importance of mental health and well-being, is key to ensuring teaching and learning will flourish in the 22-23 school year."
The minister noted today's announcement demonstrates Manitoba's commitment to sustained educational funding. This builds on the previously announced $127-million funding increase for the upcoming school year, bringing the total increase to nearly $150 million including:
-$77 million in one-time funding to assist with financial pressures;
- $43-million increase to the annual funding for public and independent schools; and
- $7-million increase towards special needs education.
"Building on the recovery learning initiatives which began last year and in responding to the recommendations of the Office of the Auditor General's audit, we will work collaboratively with schools and school divisions to be better prepared for similar challenges in the future while ensuring continuity of learning is paramount," said Ewasko
For more information on Manitoba's K to 12 Education Action Plan, visit: https://edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/action_plan/index.html