October 2007 Changes to Education Funding

On October 18th, the Ministry of Education announced changes to the education funding formula. These changes are to come into effect immediately, despite the fact that school boards have already established their budgets for the current school year.

The changes being made to the funding formula apply to students in grades 10, 11 and 12. The way funding works in BC is that for every full-time school aged child enrolled in a school district, that district receives a basic allocation of $5,851. School districts also receive targeted funding based on other factors, but it is the basic allocation that makes up the bulk of a school district’s operating fund.

Before the current changes, school districts received 50% of the basic allocation for each student enrolled in grades 10, 11 or 12. After that the district would receive 12.5% of the allocation for each course students took. So if a student were enrolled in four or more courses, the district would receive the full allocation for that student.

The changes underway will do away with the 50% base funding. School districts will now only receive funding for the number of courses students in grades 10, 11 and 12 take. For each course these students take, the school board will receive 12.5% of the basic allocation. This claw-back will lead to some serious funding shortages mid-way through a school year.

As school boards are beginning to calculate how these changes will affect their budgets, we have started to gather some preliminary figures. None of these are final figures, but rather estimates of how much each district will lose based on these changes.

SD 44
North Vancouver
$1.8 million1
SD 57
Prince George
$3.5 million2
SD 61
Greater Victoria
$3.4 million3
SD 62
$1.1 million4
SD 63
SD 68
$1.5 million6
SD 70
SD 74

Links to News Articles:

Education funding drops
Vancouver Sun November 16, 2007

Budget bombshell falls on schools
Prince George Citizen October 30, 2007

Mid-year rule change cuts $5M from local schools
Victoria Times Colonist October 31, 2007

School funding change could be catastrophic
Chilliwack Times October 26, 2007

Changes to school funding will make balancing budgets difficult
Vancouver Sun October 24, 2007

1 C. Dorais to H. Fussell, October 26, 2007, “Changes to School Funding,” personal e-mail.
2 Dave Paulsen, “Budget by ambush,” Prince George Citizen, 1 November 2007.
3 Jeff Rud, “Mid-year rule change cuts $5M from local schools,” Times Colonist, 31 October 2007.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 Derek Spalding, “Accounting change may cost schools $1.5 million,” Nanaimo Daily News, 26 October 2007, A.1.
7 Julia Caranci, “School district faces possible funding cuts,” Alberni Valley Times, 25 October 2007, A.1.
8 “Funding changes come at bad time,” Kamloops Daily New, 24, October 2007, A.6.

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