Manitoba school divisions are in the process of putting together their new budgets for the next school year, and they are not using the new funding model that has been proposed by the provincial government.
“The new funding model that they've been working on, that we were told fairly repeatedly that was going to be used in this current budget year, they decided to maintain status quo for the budget this year and not impose the new funding formula,” says Wendy Bloomfield, chair of the Seine River School Board, “because they're saying there needs to be some more dialogue.”
Bloomfield says the school board had not received enough information about the proposed model in order to feel confident in making the switch.
She adds there was quite a bit of relief when they found out in mid-December that there was a delay in making the change.
“Because everybody was quite concerned as to what this new funding model might mean and the implications for the upcoming budget year,” Bloomfield explains.
The provincial government created a consultation team in 2021 to help develop the new education funding model in Manitoba, with the goal of ensuring equitable funding so that all students could succeed regardless of where they live, their background or their individual circumstances.
The new model was expected to be implemented for the 2023-24 school year. That has now been delayed to the following year.