Grants and Contributions to Support First Nations Elementary and Secondary Educational Advancement: Terms and Conditions

Table of contents

1. Introduction

1.1 Context

Elementary and secondary education is one of the essential services that are funded by INAC for First Nation communities. The federal government has provided support to First Nation education for almost 140 years, addressing commitments in the numbered treaties and providing for the delivery of services authorized under the Indian Act and various policy decisions

The following terms and conditions provide the framework under which current and future INAC grant and contribution programs can be administered to support elementary and secondary education advancement for First Nations students. They provide the flexibility for INAC to meet changing conditions and government priorities and to implement acceptable programs and initiatives in line with departmental policy and legislative authorities. As a result, new programs and initiatives may be added and others removed from time to time.

1.2 Scope of Programming

INAC's present suite of elementary and secondary programs is as follows:

A. Core Elementary/Secondary Education Programs

Core Elementary / Secondary Education Programs include instructional services for students in kindergarten and extend to students in grade 12. They also include student support and school board type services.

B. Complementary Programs

INAC also provides funding for complementary programs. Currently, such programs include:

  • High Cost Special Education Program (HCSEP): Provides additional investments for special education students whose needs are more severe (generally ranging from moderate to profound), and whose special education requirements cannot be met within the resources identified for the general student population.
  • New Paths for Education: Provides investments to First Nations to design and deliver educational programs and services that strengthen core elementary and secondary education programming, meet First Nation needs through innovative approaches, and enhance the educational experiences of students, teachers, administrators, parents and communities. New Paths has six areas of focus - strengthened First Nations education management, improving the effectiveness of classroom instruction, enhanced approaches to teacher recruitment and retention, supports for community and parental involvement in the education of children and youth, strengthened use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in schools, and to support research, measurement and evaluation of education practices that will improve the quality of education for First Nations students, as well as activities that promote knowledge transfer and disseminate Indigenous education knowledge, research and best practices.
  • Education Partnerships Program: Supports the development of organizational capacity to undertake transformation of First Nations education, and the development of new approaches to education service and delivery agreements; and the establishment and advancement of partnerships with provinces and school boards.
  • First Nation Student Success Program: Provides investments to advance student and school outcomes through school success plans, student learning assessments, performance measurement and support of early literacy initiatives.
Note:

In keeping with provincial education systems, HCSEP funding will support both direct and indirect special education services using an intervention based approach. This approach will maintain the requirement for formal assessments of students and the development of Individual Education Plans (IEPs), or an equivalent plan according to the province of residence, but it will also permit First Nations schools the flexibility to employ intervention strategies where necessary.

1.3 Spending Authorities and Funding Approaches Used Under these Terms & Conditions

INAC's present suite of core elementary/secondary and complementary programs is funded through two spending authorities: Grants to Support First Nations Elementary & Secondary Educational Advancement and Contributions to support First Nations Elementary and Secondary Educational Advancement.

Accordingly, funding approaches for transfer payments that support elementary and secondary education advancement for First Nations students are summarized as follows:

  Grant Payments Contribution Payments
Set Fixed Flexible Block
*** Aboriginal Recipients Only ***
Core Elementary/Secondary YES YES YES   YES
Complementary
Programs
High Cost Special Education (HCSEP)   YES      
New Paths for Education   YES      
Education Partnerships Program (EPP)   YES      
First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP)   YES      

2. Legal and Policy Authority

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. I-6, s. 4

3. Purpose, Program Objectives and Expected Results

The objectives and expected results for Core Elementary/Secondary Education Programs and Complementary Programs are:

Purpose/Objective Expected Results Performance Indicators
Core Elementary/Secondary
  1. To provide eligible students living on reserve with elementary and secondary education programs, comparable to those required in provincial schools by statutes, regulations, or policies of the province in which the reserve is located.
  2. That eligible students receive a comparable education to other Canadians within the same province of residence, with similar educational outcomes to other Canadians and with attendant socio-economic benefits to themselves, their communities and Canada.
Through the provision of provincially comparable programs and services, similar educational outcomes for First Nations students on reserve at provincially comparable levels which, at a minimum, support successful transitions between on and off reserve schools and entry into post-secondary education. On an annual basis:

1. Percentage of First Nation students ordinarily resident on reserve who graduate from high school.
High Cost Special Education Program (HCSEP)
  1. To improve the educational achievement levels of First Nation students on-reserve by providing for access to special education programs and services that are culturally sensitive and meet the provincial standards in the locality of the First Nation.
  2. To enable students with moderate to profound special education needs to achieve their fullest potential, as well as increase the number of high cost special needs students acquiring a high school diploma or a certificate of completion.
  • Ensuring that high cost special needs students are provided with adequate support services as identified through their Individual Education Plans.
  • Increased secondary school graduation rates for high cost special needs students.
On an annual basis:

1. Percentage of students identified with high cost special education needs who graduate from high school.
New Paths for Education

The New Paths for Education program is composed of six components, each of which have a specific objective as follows:

  1. To strengthen First Nation education management and governance by enhancing local capacity and education-based institutional development.
  2. To improve the effectiveness of classroom instruction through curriculum and language development, improvements in instructional techniques, school activities and technological knowledge.
  3. To support parental and community engagement in the education of children and youth that is conducive to a supportive learning environment.
  4. To assist band-operated schools in recruitment and retention of qualified teachers and educators as well as provide professional development opportunities.
  5. Enhance access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in First Nation schools.
  6. To support research, measurement and evaluation of education practices that will improve the quality of education for First Nations students, as well as activities that promote knowledge transfer and disseminate Indigenous education knowledge, research and best practices.
  • Strengthened education management and governance capacity to support strategic decision making that result in improved outcomes for First Nations students.
  • Enhanced coordination and support of First Nation education programs and services.
  • Enhanced quality and quantity of data to monitor and improve academic progress.
  • Maintenance and increased use of First Nation languages.
  • Increased availability and use of culturally appropriate and relevant curricula.
  • Increased involvement of parents and community at large in the education system.
  • Enhanced awareness of the importance of education to potential career paths.
  • Reduced teacher turnover.
  • Increased level of computer literacy.
  • Increased availability of resources on how best to improve First Nations student outcomes.
  • Increased understanding of practices that support improved outcomes for Indigenous students.
On an annual basis:

1. Percentage of First Nation students ordinarily resident on reserve who graduate from high school.
Education Partnerships Program (EPP)
  1. To expedite improvements in education outcomes and student achievement in First Nation schools by leveraging provincial expertise and service.
  2. To share First Nation expertise with provinces and encourage additional provincial initiatives for on-reserve First Nation students attending provincial schools.
EPP achieves these objectives through support for partnership arrangements where First Nation and provincial officials share expertise and services, and partners coordinate learning initiatives in support of First Nation students.
  • Development of organizational capacity to undertake education reform.
  • Improve student outcomes; and
  • Establishment and advancement of partnership arrangements with First Nation education organizations, First Nation School Divisions/Boards/Education Authorities, provinces, and/or provincial school boards.
On an annual basis:

1. Percentage of First Nations communities included in/covered by negotiated Memoranda of Understanding or Tripartite Agreements, by province/territory.
First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP)
  1. To collect systematic and comprehensive data on First Nation schools and their students.
  2. To develop performance targets on the performance of schools and their students.
  3. To develop data systems to assess the performance of schools and students against these targets.
  4. To support School Success Plans that set and achieve targets, focus on improving school functioning and instructional services to support improved student outcomes.
School Success Plans: The development and implementation of school success plans which set out goals, activities and targets for improving student achievement in the priority areas of literacy, numeracy and student retention.

Student Learning Assessments: The implementation of student learning assessments in support of the school success planning process. At a minimum, schools will participate in their respective provincial standard testing process.

Performance Measurement: The implementation of performance measurement systems and processes that allow schools to assess, report on, and take steps to accelerate progress made by students and by schools.
On an annual basis:

1. Percentage of schools funded through FNSSP administering provincial standard learning assessments.

2. Percentage of schools funded through FNSSP with school data systems and performance measurement processes in place.

3. Percentage of schools funded through FNSSP with success plans in place.

In the Program Alignment Architecture, this authority is listed under The People/Education.

4. Eligibility

4.1 Eligible Students – Grant and Contribution Funding + Nominal Roll

Recipients must demonstrate the eligibility of each student to be included on the Nominal Roll in order to receive either grant or contribution education funding. The Nominal Roll is the registry of all eligible elementary and secondary students funded by INAC to attend a First Nation-operated, federal, provincial, or private/independent school.

To be eligible, a student must be:

  • enrolled in and attending a school operated by the federal government, province, or First Nation Regional Management Organization, First Nation-operated, or a private/independent school, recognized by the province, as an elementary/secondary institution;
  • aged 4 to 21 years (or the age range eligible for elementary/secondary education support in the province of residence) on December 31 of the school year in which funding support is required;
  • ordinarily resident on reserveFootnote 1. (A non-registered student who is ordinarily resident on reserve lands that are leased is not eligible for funding).

All on-reserve students whose elementary and secondary education is funded under this authority must be included, or be eligible for inclusion, on INAC's Nominal Roll student registry. The entry in the Nominal Roll must also indicate the name of the school attended, the band of residence and the status of the student and, if the student is a registered Indian, or the child or dependant of a registered Indian, the registration number. Information provided on the Nominal Roll must be supported by student records maintained by the school and, where applicable, records in the Indian Register.

Note:

In the case of a child in the care of a Child and Family Services Agency, or in the care of the province, the residency of the child is determined by the residency of the guardian with whom the child is placed. A guardian is a person who assumes authority for the child through a legal guardianship agreement.

To qualify for High Cost Special Education Program funding, the following criterion must also be met:

  • An Individual Education Plan (IEP) must be in place or be in the process of being created when a student has been identified by the school administration or a team of experts as having high cost special education needs. The IEP must map the student progress during the school year. An IEP is also known as an Individual Learning Plan (ILP), an Individual Program Plan (IPP) or an equivalent plan according to the province of residence.

4.2 Eligible Recipients

A. Grant Funding – Core Elementary/Secondary Programming for Student Support Services Funding Only

Eligible recipients are students on the Nominal Roll (per Section 4.1), enrolled in and attending a federal, provincial, and private/independent school, and whose elementary/secondary education is funded by INAC. Applicants must demonstrate the need for student support services with no other source of funding to meet such need. In some cases, eligible recipients can include the parents or guardians of these students where the students are under the age of 16.

B. Contribution Funding

Eligible contribution funding recipients for Core Elementary/Secondary Programming as well as Complementary Programs (i.e., New Paths, the High Cost Special Education Program, the Education Partnerships Program, and the First Nation Student Success Program are as follows:

  E/S
Programming
Complementary Programs  
HCSEP New Paths EPP FNSSP*
*Note: In the case of FNSSP and EPP, priority will be given to First Nations Regional Management Organizations representing a group of First Nations schools. On a case-by-case basis, other recipients may be eligible for FNSSP and EPP funding.
Band Councils YES YES YES YES YES
Organizations designated by band councils YES YES YES YES  
Provincial ministries, school boards/districts YES YES YES YES  
Private education institutions YES YES YES    
Federal schools YES YES YES   YES
Recipient appointed advisor or third-party funding agreement manager YES YES      
First Nations Regional Management Organizations (FNRMO) – see Section 4.3 YES YES YES YES YES
Not-for-profit organizations     YES    
For-profit organizations*     YES    
Indigenous governments and organization     YES    
Self-governing First Nations are not eligible for SR funding     YES    
First Nations School System or School Board with a governance agreement with Canada YES     YES  
* For-Profit organizations may be eligible for funding provided that the nature and intent of the activity is non-commercial, not intended to generate profit, supports program priorities and objectives, and will be made publically available at no cost.

4.3 Eligibility Requirements for First Nation Regional Management Organizations

For the purposes of these terms and conditions, a First Nations Regional Management Organization (FNRMO) is a First Nation organization that oversees the overall structure of First Nations education within its area of authority as well as the design, delivery and adaptation of educational programs to meet the needs of its communities and students. FNRMOs seek and build on opportunities to work with other First Nations and learning organizations, other federally funded programs as well as local provincial school systems, where appropriate, to aggregate demand for shared services to leverage and optimize the use of resources.

First Nations Regional Management must meet the following minimum requirements for funding consideration:

  • Have a documented management framework outlining the organization's governance structure;
  • Have documented support from member First Nations/communities/schools (e.g., Band or Tribal Council resolution, or other documentation such as formal letters of support);
  • Have documented and publicly available policy guidelines. If the FNRMO is applying for HCSEP funding these policy guidelines must include those specifically relating to special education;
  • Demonstrate economies of scale;
  • Undertake, as a key function, second and/or third level elementary and secondary education supports for groups of First Nation communities/schools (with the exception of FNRMOs funded under the New Paths Information and Communications Technology stream); and
  • Be in a sound financial position.

Additional FNRMO requirements under the Education Partnerships Program:

A First Nations Regional Management Organization must meet the following additional requirements for funding consideration under the Education Partnerships Program:

  • Be prepared to incorporate with a separate board in place (if this is not already the case);
  • Have an organizational structure that includes an executive director or equivalent, finance director, and a board of directors or equivalent;
  • Agrees to produce publicly available annual reports on activities and expenditures; and
  • If new, replace or assume education program responsibilities of an existing organization or be an amalgamation of existing organizations.

5. Type and Nature of Eligible Expenditures

Eligible expenditures are those that are considered reasonable and directly attributable to activities necessary to achieve desired results as described under the program headings below.

Note:

Funding for an identical activity is not permitted to take place on a concurrent basis under two different education programs.

Expenditures for construction, operation and maintenance of federal and band-operated school facilities are NOT eligible under the education programming. Funds for this purpose are provided through INAC's Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program. Capital facilities and maintenance costs under this program include school construction, classroom furnishings such as desks, chairs and office furniture, facility services (e.g., water and sewer connections, parking areas, landscaping) as well as cleaning and custodial services, electricity, heating, fire protection, repairs and maintenance and preventive maintenance of schools and teachers.

5.1 Core Elementary/Secondary Programming

Eligible expenditures for Core Elementary/Secondary Programming have been classified under the five categories and are as follows:

A. Instructional Services in First Nation-Operated Schools:

Eligible expenditures are:

  • salaries for school professional staff (e.g., principals, vice-principals, teachers, para-professionals, substitute teachers, Aboriginal language coordinators);
  • support for culture and language learning and counselling;
  • costs associated with teacher recruitment and retention, including enhanced teacher salaries and professional development activities and services;
  • costs associated with curriculum development, including the purchase and/or modification of instructional materials;
  • costs associated with low cost special education programming, including diagnostic testing and evaluation;
  • funding for professional and para-professional services;
  • funding of services for official language instruction;
  • books and other instructional supplies, including computers and internet service provider fees (excluding infrastructure costs);
  • costs associated with necessary support for equivalency programming (e.g., distance education courses, correspondence courses, school-monitored home schooling);
  • costs associated with school nutrition programs;
  • costs associated with evaluation (e.g., costs of preparing school evaluations) and the implementation of school program evaluation recommendations; and
  • costs associated with school administration (e.g., school secretary, travel and relocation of education and administrative staff, rental of equipment, telephone, office supplies).

B. Instructional Services in Federal Schools:

The same expenditures are eligible for federal schools as for band-operated schools, with the exception of the salaries and benefits of federal employees, which are paid directly by INAC from its operating budget.

C. Instructional Services in Provincial and in Private/Independent Schools Recognized by the Province as an Elementary/Secondary Institution, and First Nation Schools operated by a First Nation School Board or System:

The following are eligible expenditures for instructional services in provincial and private schools recognized by the province as an elementary/secondary institution as well as First Nation schools operated by a First Nation School Board or System:

  • tuition charges established by the provincial school authority or the private school and payable by a First Nation or INAC which account for similar components of instructional services as those outlined for band-operated and federal schools;
  • pupil accommodation charges, per student operation, maintenance and capital outlay fees for provincial or private school facilities; and
  • High Cost Special Education (where tuition payments include high cost special education services).

Funding provided for a student attending a private/independent school will not be greater than the funding that would be provided for a student attending the provincial school in the same geographic area.

D. Student Support Services:

In the category of student support services, eligible expenditures are:

  • room and board, or group homes costs for students who are attending school outside their home communities or whose parents are temporarily away from their home community pursuing traditional activities such as trapping;
  • costs associated with daily and extra-curricular transportation, seasonal or special transportation (i.e., trips home for students attending school outside their home communities to their permanent on-reserve residence);
  • costs associated with guidance, counseling and school liaison services;
  • financial assistance including the cost of purchase or rental of books and supplies, specialized clothing (including a graduation allowance), equipment (e.g., laboratory or shop costs) or specialized educational services (e.g. school psychologists), additional fees for specialized classes;
  • an allowance for reasonable incidental expenses for those students who are being accommodated outside of their home; and
  • funding for school committee support consistent with provincial norms.

E. School Board Type Services:

In the category of School Board Type Services, eligible expenditures are:

  • costs associated with coordination of region-wide education programs and services;
  • costs associated with the management of education/school boards (including operational costs);
  • costs associated with program modification or adaptation;
  • costs associated with development of curriculum and instructional materials;
  • diagnostic testing and evaluation (not covered under the High Cost Special Education Program or FNSSP);
  • costs associated with professional services;
  • costs associated with professional development and support activities;
  • costs associated with providing advice to band administrations (e.g., travel expenses, web sites, videoconferencing fees) and consultation with communities;
  • costs associated with the provision of advice and support to First Nations in wording and negotiation of agreements with provincial education authorities;
  • funding for liaison with community service providers (e.g., child/family services, employment programs), provincial service providers and education organizations to support improved education outcomes;
  • honoraria for school board members in line with provincial standards;
  • costs associated with monitoring and evaluating band-operated schools, and supporting the implementation of any recommendations; and
  • costs associated with maintaining a regional organization infrastructure.

5.2 Complementary Programs

The type and nature of eligible expenditures for Complementary Programs, as outlined in the annexes below, must contribute to enhancing the quality of education in First Nation schools and student outcomes.

  • Annex A – High Cost Special Education Program (HCSEP)
  • Annex B - New Paths for Education Program
  • Annex C - Education Partnerships Program (EPP)
  • Annex D - First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP)

Administration Costs:

Eligible administration costs include only the actual costs associated directly with administering HCSEP, New Paths, EPP and FNSSP funding and must not exceed 10 percent of the total contributions.

Eligible administration costs include the following, but are not limited to:

  • clerical support;
  • office supplies;
  • the collection, maintenance, and reporting of data and information in accordance with program and financial reporting requirements; and
  • costs associated with ensuring that personal information is appropriately managed and safeguarded during its collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal.

Eligible administrative expenditures for each program may also be specified in the applicable annexes.

6. Total Canadian Government Assistance and Stacking Limits

Total maximum government assistance is 100 percent for eligible programs.

Recipients are required to declare any and all prospective sources of funding for the program or project, inclusive of all federal, provincial, territorial or municipal governments (total government assistance) and other sources that are expected to be received. Annual financial reporting shall show all sources of funding received by the recipient. Provisions for repayment shall be included in the funding agreements.

7. Method for Determining Amount of Funding

A. Grant Funding:

The method for determining the amount of funding is based on the demonstration of need and the reasonableness of proposed expenditures.

B. Contribution Funding:

The amount of funding for Core Elementary/Secondary Education Programs is based on funding formulae which take into account such factors as number of students and schools served, the type and nature of services and programs delivered, as well as the remoteness, size and socio-economic conditions of member communities.

For Complementary Programs, proposals must be submitted and will be screened for completeness, eligibility and reasonableness of proposed expenditures, as well as relevance against program objectives and expected results. Funding will be limited by the amount of available funds. Such assessments may be conducted by internal and/or external reviewers, at a regional or a national level.

8. Maximum Amounts Payable

The following maximum amounts were established to ensure that the most extreme circumstances could be funded as necessary. Recipients and students are not entitled to the maximum amount. Actual funding per recipient / per student will depend on the overall availability of funding.

Maximum amounts payable may increase by no more than two percent per year or the percentage increase in provincial tuition rates increase for the following programs: Core Elementary/Secondary and High Cost Special Education programming. (Base Year: FY 2014-2015).

A. Grant Funding – Student Support Services Only

Financial assistance to a maximum of $1,000 per student per year may be provided to defray the cost of a demonstrated need for student support services as outlined in Section 5.1(D).

B. Contribution Funding:

i. First Nations Students:

The maximum amount payable to First Nations, First Nation Regional Management Organizations, and federal schools (excluding high cost special education) is $40,000 per full-time equivalent, per year. This is to cover all eligible expenditures for Core Elementary/Secondary Programming (i.e., Instructional Services, Student Support Services, and School Board Type Services) funding and this is inclusive of any remoteness factor, English or French as a second language adjustments, and a small school factor, as appropriate.

For students attending provincial schools, INAC provides funding based on the tuition rate established by provincial school boards/districts which account for similar components of instructional services as those outlined for First Nation Regional Management Organizations, First Nation-operated and federal schools per Section 5.1 (a) to (c).

For students attending private schools, the maximum amount payable is the rate that would have been paid if the student attended a provincial school in the same geographic vicinity.

ii. First Nations Students with High Cost Special Education Needs:

The maximum contribution for high cost special education per student shall not exceed the costs in accordance with the educational components set out below:

Tuition for High Cost Special Needs Students Attending Specialized Institutions (e.g., Provincial School for Deaf):
  • $65,000 is the maximum amount allowed per year, per high cost special education student attending a specialized school. When this funding allocation is provided for a student, the band council is ineligible to receive core elementary or secondary education program funds for said student.
Tuition Rate for High Cost Special Needs Students Attending Non-Specialized Schools:
  • $30,000 is the maximum amount allowed per year for tuition per high cost special education student attending a federal, provincial, First Nation-operated, or private/independent school (except where the school is a specialized school, as noted above).
  • HCSEP students are eligible for these funds in addition to regular core elementary / secondary support.
Other Maximum Amounts Payable for High Cost Special Needs Students
  • $5,000 is the maximum amount allowed per year, per student for transportation costs.
  • $5,000 is the maximum amount allowed per year, per student for emergency transportation.
  • $50,000 is the maximum amount allowed per year for student accommodation (e.g., room and board).
Note:

Depending on the severity of the student's exceptionality, according to methods prescribed by the province of residence and provincial standards for funding eligibility, the maximum contribution may be increased by the salary of a teacher's aide (per student) over and above the instructional services tuition rate.

iii. Second Level Services:

The maximum amount payable to a recipient for the purposes of delivering comparable second-level services is $25 million. This includes second-level service activities that may take place under High Cost Special Education Programming, New Paths and First Nation Student Success Program. In the case of research, measurement and/or evaluation expenditures spent via New Paths, the maximum amount payable to any one recipient per year per project will not exceed $250,000.

iv. Education Partnerships Program

The maximum amount payable for the purposes of partnerships and structural readiness is $15M. An exception to this limit may be made transitional operating costs of a First Nation school board.

9. Basis on Which Payments Will be Made

A. Grant Funding – Student Support Funding Only:

As noted in Section 8.0(A), a maximum of $1,000 per student per year in grant funds may be provided to defray the cost of education-related student support. A one-time payment of the total amount of the grant may be made upon approval of an application.

B. Contribution Funding:

Contributions are normally paid on the basis of achievement of performance objectives or as reimbursement of expenditures incurred. Advance payments may also be made based on a cash flow forecast from the recipient in accordance with the Cash Management section of Treasury Board's Directive on Transfer Payments. Where advance payments are necessary, they are limited to the immediate cash requirements of the recipient.

Monthly, quarterly or annual progress payments may be made based on expenditure claims and a final payment of any sums due following receipt of the final claim and activities report and, if considered necessary by the department, following completion of a financial audit.

10. Application Requirements and Assessment Criteria

Note:

Meeting the application requirements and assessment criteria below does not guarantee funding.

10.1 Core Elementary/Secondary Programming

A. Grants – Student Support Services Only

Students or their parents/guardians apply for student support services grants, as outlined in Section 4.2(A), at an INAC regional office. Applicants are required to demonstrate or confirm a student's eligibility on the nominal roll (see Section 4.1). Applicants must also demonstrate the need for student support services with no other source of funding to meet such need. The applicant may also be required to produce a supporting letter from the school to explain the nature of a cost associated with the requirement.

Assessment of applications will be based on demonstrated student need and the reasonableness of expenses.

B. Contributions

Contributions under Core Elementary / Secondary Education Programs are not application based. Funding administered for these programs is contingent on the recipient demonstrating that the following criteria are met:

  1. In the case of First Nation Regional Management Organizations, First Nation-operated or federal schools, programs must be comparable to provincially recognized programs of study and that only provincially certified teachers are employed to manage classroom instruction.
  2. Education standards allow students to transfer without penalty to an equivalent grade in another school within the school system of the province in which the school is located.
  3. Eligibility of a student for inclusion on the nominal roll, as outlined in Section 4.1.

Where the recipient has determined to provide access to instructional services (regular tuition and ancillary services) in a provincial, private or independent school, the recipient shall enter into a Local Education Agreement/Tuition Agreement with the applicable provincial school district or board operating the respective school and agrees to maintain the Local Education Agreement/Tuition Agreement in good standing.

10.2 Complementary Programs

Funding administered to a recipient for the High Cost Special Education Program, New Paths for Education Program, Education Partnership Program (EPP) and the First Nations Student Success Program (FNSSP) will be determined through an application process. Detailed instructions on how to apply for these programs are contained in published program guidelines, including deadlines and program priorities.

At a minimum, proposals must:

  • establish eligibility (as outlined in Section 4.0);
  • establish the relationship of proposed projects, initiatives or activities to program objectives and priorities as outlined in these terms and conditions and published program guidelines;
  • include a detailed implementation plan which comprises a description and costing of activities and/or project or initiatives;
  • provide a payment schedule, including basis and timing of payment; and
  • outline steps to measure and evaluate performance of the proposed projects.

At a minimum, proposals will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Capability: The experience and capacity of the recipient (and identified project leader, where applicable) to manage the implementation of activities within their proposal successfully and complete the project/initiative in a timely manner.
  • Consultation and Commitment: The extent to which the proposal has the support of schools and/or the community;
  • Implementation Activities: The extent to which the proposal aligns with eligible activities and meets program objectives. The assessment process will consider timelines, cost-effectiveness and the degree to which the activities will result in expected outcomes.
  • Project Management: How the initiative/project will be managed, including project governance, management of project scope, human resources, risk management, and project monitoring, control and reporting.
  • Project Costs: A demonstration of a realistic assessment of estimated total costs and a justification of the level of funding required.

10.3 Other Requirements:

As detailed in Section 4.1, to qualify for High Cost Special Education Program funding, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) must be in place or in the process of being created.

EPP Component: Funding is provided on an annual basis; however, proposals may be multi-year (maximum three years). Successful program recipients must revise their proposals as required and resubmit them annually.

FNSSP Component: Projects are approved for a three year period and funding is disbursed on a year-by-year basis. Approved recipients will submit an annual work plan and supporting budget for years two and three respectively in order to receive continued funding. To qualify for funding, recipients must ensure that all their participating schools are implementing school success plans, student learning assessments, and performance measurement.

11. Due Diligence and Reporting

Contributions: Financial and performance reporting requirements are based on risk as determined through the Department's General (Risk) Assessment process. Recipients are required to submit progress reports that outline activities completed, demonstrate progress towards the achievement of results and financial reports that account for the use of the funding. The nature and frequency of such reporting is specified in each contribution agreement.

At a minimum, all contribution recipients are required to submit final performance and financial reports containing information on activities undertaken, results achieved and the nature of expenditures actually incurred. All contribution recipients will be required to report on administration costs to ensure that such expenditures remain within the maximum allowable.

At a minimum, FNSSP recipients are required to also submit a mid-year report (in addition to the final report noted directly above). FNSSP FNRMOs will be responsible for ensuring that all reports for the three FNSSP program components – School Success Plans, Student Learning Assessments and Performance Measurement – are completed by each participating school, and that one aggregated report is submitted to INAC.

Grants: Recipients may be required to report as appropriate to support INAC's Performance Measurement Strategy and other departmental reporting.

12. Official Languages

Where a program supports activities that may be delivered to members of either official language community, access to services from the recipient will be provided in both official languages where there is demand and Part IV of the Official Languages Act is applicable. In addition, the department will ensure that the design and the delivery of programs respect the obligations of the Government of Canada as set out in Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

13. Intellectual Property

Where a grant or contribution is provided for the development of material in which copyright subsists, conditions for shared rights will be set out in the funding agreement.

14. Repayable Contributions

Provisions for repayable contributions do not apply. Any contributions made to private firms under these programs are not intended to generate profits or to increase the value of a business.

15. Redistribution of Contributions

Where a recipient delegates authority or further distributes contribution funding to an agency or a third party (such as an authority, board, committee, or other entity authorized to act on behalf of the recipient), the recipient shall remain liable to the department for the performance of its obligations under the funding agreement. Neither the objectives of the programs and services nor the expectations of transparent, fair and equitable services shall be compromised by any delegation or redistribution of contribution funding.

Recipients have full independence in the selection of such third parties and will not be acting as an agent of the government in making distributions.

Note:

The total administration costs, including those of third party organizations, cannot exceed 10 percent of the total contribution. When a funding recipient further transfers to a Third Party funds that were received under these programs, the 10 percent allowed for administration costs must be divided between the parties, as agreed to between the parties.

16. Other Terms and Conditions

Program Guidelines – Each program holds a corresponding set of INAC program guidelines, which include specific criteria supporting these Terms and Conditions. Recipients must act in compliance with the provisions outlined in these Terms and Conditions and the program guidelines.

Annex A: High Cost Special Education Program (HCSEP)

Type and Nature of Eligible Expenditures:

The type and nature of expenditures funded under this program relate to the following activities:

  • Identifying students with high cost special education needs;
  • Identifying the category/ies of exceptionality that applies to each student;
  • Preparing an IEP for each student;
  • Selecting the types of services recommended in the student's IEP; and
  • Implementing IEPs.

HCSEP programs and services are divided into two categories – Direct Services and Indirect Services – which include various eligible expenditures as outlined below. Note: Direct and indirect services funding may be used for administration support up to a maximum of 10 percent of HCSEP total costs as outlined in Section 5.2.

A. Direct Services:

Direct services are program activities focused directly on meeting student needs. Direct services must represent a minimum of 75 percent of the annual HCSEP resources. The direct services HCSEP allocation is to be spent on high cost student support services.

Eligible expenditures for direct services include:

  • Tuition (and tuition top ups) for special education students attending specialized as well as federal, provincial, band operated, or private/independent school institutions;
  • Costs associated with in-school expertise as well as the development and monitoring of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) or other professional assessments using provincially recognized methods and techniques;
  • Salaries/benefits for special education teachers;
  • Salaries/benefits for individual teacher aide/paraprofessional workers;
  • Costs associated with educational psychology services;
  • Costs associated with counseling/social work services;
  • Costs associated with Elder/mentoring/cultural services;
  • Costs associated with speech/language services;
  • Costs associated with occupational therapy services;
  • Costs associated with physical therapy services;
  • Costs associated with instructional/resource materials; and
  • Costs associated with assistive technologies/equipment purchases.

B. Indirect Services:

Up to 25 percent of the HCSEP allocation may be spent on school activities and services that will improve special education programs for high cost special education needs students.

Eligible expenditures for such indirect services include:

  • Costs associated with providing information services;
  • Costs associated with contracting professional high cost special education support and assessment services;
  • Costs associated with professional development for professional accreditations;
  • Costs associated with other professional development (e.g., workshops, conferences);
  • Costs associated with student accommodations (e.g., room and board);
  • Costs associated with accommodation needs, and may also include changes in how a student accesses information and demonstrates learning. These may include changes in the method of instruction, the curriculum, and the environment;
  • Costs associated with transportation (e.g., the transportation of severely disabled, special day-class pupils, and orthopedically impaired pupils who require a vehicle with a wheelchair lift, as specified in their IEP).
  • Costs associated with emergency transportation; and
  • Costs associated with the coordination of special education programming with other community programs as well as social and health services including early childhood development initiatives, HeadStart, child care, immunization programs and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAS/FAE) programming.

C. Ineligible Expenditures

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  • Services for special education students whose needs are mild to moderate are expected to be addressed by INAC's Core Elementary / Secondary Education Programming;
  • Enhanced programs and services for gifted students or enriched, subject-specific programming for students streamed into, for example, drama and the arts are not eligible for HCSEP funding;
  • Expenditures for constructing, operating, and maintaining facilities, or purchasing vehicles are provided through INAC's Capital Program and cannot be charged to the HCSEP budget allocation; and
  • Duplication of federal funding for a given activity (i.e., receipt of funding from more than one federal source for the same activity).

D. Other Requirements

The recipient/administering authority (as set out in Eligibility in Section 4.0) must have in place a formal process to appeal or follow up on funding decisions and parents and students must have access to guidelines associated with these processes. As such, recipients/administering authorities must:

  • have written procedures for timely, fair and open dispute resolution and appeals;
  • establish written procedures to hear appeals from parents or, where applicable, students, regarding decisions that significantly affect the education of students with special education needs;
  • make every reasonable effort at the school to resolve concerns collaboratively with parents;
  • advise parents/guardians of their right to make a formal appeal of decisions regarding the special education needs of their children, and inform them of appeal procedures; and
  • advise parents/guardians of their right to request that INAC's Regional Directors General review the funding decision of a recipient/administering authority if they are not satisfied with the results of the appeal process.

Annex B: New Paths for Education

A. Type and Nature of Eligible Expenditures

The type and nature of expenditures funded under New Paths relate to the following activities:

  • First Nation education management and governance capacity: strengthening First Nation education management and governance capacity through local capacity and educational institutional development.
  • School effectiveness: Improving the effectiveness of classroom instruction through curriculum and language development, pedagogical improvements, school activities and enhancement of technological knowledge in the schools.
  • Parental and community engagement: Development and implementation of strategies that support community and parental involvement in the education of their children and youth.
  • Qualified teachers and educators: Assistance to band-operated schools for recruitment and retention of qualified teachers and educators. Funding for professional development opportunities is also provided.
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Enhance the effectiveness of classroom instruction through the development and enhancement of Information and Communications Technologies in schools.
  • Research, measurement, evaluation and knowledge transfer: Support education practices and policies intended to provide information about improving First Nations education outcomes and disseminate Indigenous education knowledge, research and best practices;

B. Eligible Expenditures

Eligible expenditures for New Paths include the following:

  • support for educational institutions and other eligible recipients in the priority areas identified in Section A;
  • learning materials (purchase and/or development of books, guides, etc.);
  • fees for professional advisors;
  • salaries for education professionals and para-professionals for New Paths activities only;
  • transportation costs for eligible participants incurred as a direct result of participating in an eligible activity not already covered by elementary/secondary program funding; and
  • administration costs as outlined in Section 5.2 up to a maximum of 10 percent of total costs.

In the case of research, measurement, evaluation and knowledge transfer activities for education practices and policies, eligible expenditures may include the following:

  • salaries and wages for employees;
  • honoraria;
  • professional fees;
  • materials and equipment rentals;
  • facility rentals;
  • travel, including meals and accommodations; and
  • administrative costs as outlined in [Section 5.2 of the Grants and Contributions to Support First Nations Elementary and Secondary Educational Achievement Terms and Conditions] up to a maximum of 10 percent of total costs.

In the category of School Board Type Services, eligible expenditures may include the following:

  • costs associated with coordination of region-wide education programs and services;
  • costs associated with the management of education/school boards (including operational costs);
  • costs associated with program modification or adaptation;
  • costs associated with development of curriculum and instructional materials;
  • diagnostic testing and evaluation (not covered under the High Cost Special Education Program or FNSSP);
  • costs associated with professional services;
  • costs associated with professional development and support activities;
  • costs associated with providing advice to band administrations (e.g., travel expenses, web sites, videoconferencing fees) and consultation with communities;
  • costs associated with the provision of advice and support to First Nations in the development and negotiation of agreements with provincial education authorities;
  • funding for liaison with community service providers (e.g., child/family services, employment programs), provincial service providers and education organizations to support improved education outcomes;
  • honoraria for school board members;
  • costs associated with monitoring and evaluating band-operated schools, and supporting the implementation of any recommendations (not covered under FNSSP); and
  • costs associated with maintaining a regional organization infrastructure.

C. Ineligible Expenditures

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  • Salaries for teachers and education professionals and paraprofessionals that are already covered under the Terms and Conditions of Core Elementary / Secondary Programs or any other duplication of federal funding for a given activity (i.e., receipt of funding from more than one federal source for the same activity).

Annex C: Education Partnerships Program (EPP)

The Education Partnerships Program supports two categories of partnership development: Partnership Establishment and Partnership Advancement, and Structural Readiness, the development of organizational capacity, expertise and readiness to undertake education reforms; the development of new approaches to education governance, service and delivery agreements; the establishment and advancement of partnerships with provinces and school boards; and national and regional initiatives that promote transformative reform to ensure the education system is responsive to First Nation community needs and student outcomes. The type and nature of eligible activities and eligible expenditures for each of these categories is as follows:

A. Partnership Establishment

Type and Nature of Eligible Activities Eligible Expenditures
The EPP will provide funding, for a period of up to 36 months, for the negotiation and drafting of an MOU between a regional First Nation organization, the provincial Ministry of Education and DIAND (where an MOU does not exist), including necessary consultations with communities. The MOU must include a joint action plan that is based on one or more of EPP’s priority areas as detailed in Section D. All partners will sign the MOU. Eligible expenditures for Partnership Establishment are costs associated with a regional First Nation's organization's participation in the development of MOUs:
  • Salaries and benefits for employees working on tripartite partnership development;
  • Travel and accommodations within Canada related to tripartite partnership development;
  • Meetings directly related to tripartite partnership development;
  • Communications with First Nations related to tripartite partnership development;
  • Professional/consulting/Elders' fees related to tripartite partnership development;
  • Legal advice related to the tripartite partnership agreement; and
  • Administration costs as outlined in Section 5.2 up to a maximum of 10 percent of total costs.

B. Partnership Advancement

Type and Nature of Eligible Activities Eligible Expenditures
For established partnerships, the Education Partnerships Program will provide funding to support the development and implementation of the joint action plan, including necessary engagements with communities and negotiations with partners. The joint activities can range in size and scope, and be province-wide or specific to several First Nation communities. Joint action plans can be one year or multi-year (up to three years). However, funding will be provided on an annual basis. Eligible expenditures for Partnership Advancement include:
  • Costs associated with the implementation of joint agreements, protocols or strategies as they relate to First Nation schools (e.g., data-sharing protocols, mentorship programs, guidance and preparation for students entering provincial schools);
  • First Nation purchase of services directly linked to joint partnership plans;
  • Costs associated with the implementation of extending provincial initiatives/programs into First Nation schools;
  • Travel and accommodations within Canada related to tripartite partnership advancement;
  • IT services, purchase of hardware/software, license fees, repairs, and maintenance;
  • Professional development and training;
  • Salaries and benefits for employees working on the advancement of tripartite development;
  • Purchase of learning and/or instructional materials; and
  • Administration costs as outlined in Section 5.2 up to a maximum of 10 percent of total costs.

C. Structural Readiness

Type and Nature of Eligible Activities Eligible Expenditures
This component supports the development of organizational capacity to undertake transformation of First Nations education by:
  • establishing new governance structures;
  • developing new policies, systems and procedures;
  • supporting engagement with First Nation communities on First Nation education transformation;
  • establishing external relations partnerships and strategies;
  • encouraging parental and community involvement;
  • developing planning performance measurement;
  • establishing risk management and mitigation strategies; and
  • training and development of financial management, human resources management; and information and technology management capacity; and, administration and management of direct school supports, programs, and services.
Eligible expenditures for Structural Readiness include:
  • Salaries and benefits for staff;
  • Travel and accommodations within Canada;
  • Meeting costs – meeting rooms, audio-visual, hospitality;
  • Communications with First Nations and education partners (e.g., Ministries of Education, Teacher’s Associations, School Board Associations, etc.);
  • Professional/consulting/Elders' fees;
  • Legal advice (not including litigation);
  • Administration costs as outlined in Section 5.2 up to a maximum of 10 percent of total costs;
  • Costs associated with the implementation of joint agreements, protocols or strategies as they relate to First Nation schools (i.e., data-sharing protocols, mentorship programs, preparation for students entering provincial schools and purchase of services directly linked to joint partnership plans;
  • Costs associated with the implementation of extending provincial initiatives/programs into First Nation schools;
  • IT services, purchase of hardware/software, license fees, repairs and maintenance;
  • Professional development and training;
  • Purchase of learning and/or instructional materials;
  • Costs associated with establishing a First Nation School Board which will assume responsibility over elementary and secondary education on reserve, including the operation of schools and management of tuition agreements; and
  • Costs associated with developing agreements with provincial school boards to assume responsibility over elementary and secondary education on reserve, including the operation of schools and management of tuition agreements costs.

D. Ineligible Expenditures

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  • Provincial tuition;
  • Activities related to the negotiation and implementation of self-government agreements that are covered through INAC self-government funding; and
  • Duplication of federal funding for a given activity (i.e., receipt of funding from more than one federal source for the same activity).

E. Priority areas for the Education Partnerships Program

All proposals should address one or more of the priority areas:

  1. The establishment of First Nation School Boards;
  2. The establishment and advancement of agreements with provinces and school boards, including agreements with provincial school boards;
  3. The development of new approaches to tuition/education service and delivery agreements; and
  4. Partnerships between provinces and First Nations to improve student outcomes through improved programs and services; the sharing of expertise; and improving coordination between First Nation and provincial schools to ensure smooth student transitions, including between elementary and secondary education on reserve and early childhood programs, and/or post-secondary and labour market training programs, through partnerships involving other federal and provincial departments.

Annex D: First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP)

A. Type and Nature of Eligible Activities

The type and nature of expenditures funded under this program relate the following program components:

  • School Success Plans: Introduce a consistent and comprehensive school success planning process, and to support the development and implementation of the activities outlines within school success plans. The plan must focus on the three priority areas of literacy, numeracy, and student retention.
  • Student Learning Assessments: Gather information to support the school success planning process. The results of student learning assessments are used to identify areas to be targeted for improvement. Results are aggregated at the provincial and national levels to measure and report on progress and outcomes.
  • Performance Measurement: Supports a First Nation school's ability to monitor the progress of students, manage school and program-related information, and make it easier to gather, analyze and report on financial and performance indicators.

B. Eligible Expenditures

FNSSP supports both the development of plans and activities, and their implementation.

Eligible expenditures include, but are not limited to, expenditures related to program development and implementation costs, support and coordination, management, and reporting for school success plans, student learning assessments and performance measurement, such as:

  • Salaries and benefits incurred as a result of hiring an FNSSP project manager;
  • Salaries and benefits for education or technical professionals or paraprofessionals to carry out FNSSP activities;
  • Fees for professional advisors or consultants to provide services related to FNSSP activities;
  • Travel costs for eligible participants incurred as a direct result of participating in FNSSP activities;
  • Software purchases and licensing fees, and IT equipment purchases, repairs and maintenance related to school data systems;
  • Purchases of education or research/reference products, tools or materials such as standardized testing instruments and training resources; and
  • Administration costs as outlined in Section 5.2 up to a maximum of 10 percent of total costs.

C. Ineligible Expenditures

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  • Development of new software (i.e., development of new, non-prebuilt software rather than the customization of a commercial, off the shelf (COTS) solution);
  • Ongoing activities of the organization (e.g., administration costs that are not directly associated with FNSSP);
  • Duplication of federal funding for a given activity;
  • Community connectivity infrastructure (e.g., Points of Presence, fibre optics, transfer stations, satellite dishes);
  • Costs related to the implementation of full-day kindergarten from half-day kindergarten;
  • Any pre-school educational activities (e.g., Head Start, ECE and daycare);
  • Costs for the translation of curriculum materials into a First Nation language;
  • Modifications to provincial standardized tests; and
  • Expenditures dedicated exclusively to high cost special needs students eligible under the High-Cost Special Education Program.
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