Manitoba education funding model review to begin in the fall, deputy minister says
WINNIPEG -- Manitoba's deputy education minister says a new education funding model review is set to begin in the fall.
During a telephone town hall on Tuesday evening, Manitobans had the opportunity to ask questions of Education Minister Cliff Cullen along with Deputy Minister Dana Rudy and MLA Scott Johnston, chair of the Parent Engagement Task Force.
Along with many questions about the changes to the education system proposed in Bill 64, Manitobans expressed concerns about the equity of Manitoba's education funding – specifically for children with specific needs – under the government's new funding model for education.
"At the review meetings, it was very obvious the inequities between divisions," one Manitoban told the education officials during the town hall.
"I'm wondering what this government has proposed for funding for children with exceptionalities."
Manitoba's deputy minister said the province will be launching a funding model review in the fall which will take about 18 months to complete. She said part of this review will look at the special needs funding model as well.
"We want to make sure there are opportunities for education – that it is fair and equitable throughout the province," Rudy said.
Cullen told the participants of the town hall the province is looking to move funding from administration to the frontlines in classrooms. He said there are 'very drastic inequalities from school division to school division,' which the funding model review will take a look at.
The education minister also addressed concerns from callers that Bill 64 will lead to the closure of rural schools.
"We have no intent to close schools, whether they be urban or rural or northern schools," Cullen said.
He said the legislation outlines criteria that must be met if a school is going to be closed, including discussion with the community.
He once again said there has been 'misconceptions' spread around about the Bill 64, and told Manitobans to make sure they are getting factual information.
Manitobans can submit questions to the province regarding the education overhaul by email.
The next telephone town hall for education is scheduled for June 23. Manitobans can register for the town hall online.