New policy and funding approach for First Nations kindergarten to grade 12 education
On April 1, 2019, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) implements a new co-developed approach to better meet the needs of First Nations students on reserve and improve outcomes.
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The new approach is the result of an extensive engagement process undertaken between 2016 and 2018.
- replace outdated proposal-based programs with improved access to predictable core funding
- ensure base funding is comparable to provincial systems across the country
- provide First Nations schools with $1,500 per student, per year, to support language and culture programming
- provide new resources which will support full-time kindergarten in every First Nations school for children aged 4 and 5
- ensure special education funding is more predictable, with fewer application-based requirements
The funding formulas are driven by estimates of provincial formulas, with enhancements to meet First Nations' specific needs.
The formulas will be updated annually to account for student population growth and other education cost changes such as:
- teachers' salaries and benefits
- school size
ISC continues to work with regions to adapt the formulas to meet local needs. The new funding and policy approach taking effect on April 1, 2019 is an interim measure as the regional education agreements are developed and implemented.
Regional and local agreements
ISC is working in partnership with First Nations to develop additional Treaty-based, regional and local education agreements that respond to the education goals and priorities set by First Nations. These will be co-developed at a regional level through discussion tables. They will:
- be comprehensive and cover all federal support for First Nations elementary and secondary education, including special education
- establish clear roles and responsibilities for First Nations-led service delivery
- co-develop mutual accountability mechanisms
Regional education agreements will vary from region to region and will include improved results frameworks that reflect First Nations' needs and priorities.
Changes to programs
Two proposal-based funding streams, representing $360 million, will be rolled into core funding, reducing the administrative burden and providing more predictable funding:
- First Nation Student Success Program
- New Paths regular funding
Other funding that will continue to be available outside the new formula includes: