Kindergarten to grade 12 operating expenditures 2016-2017 overview
In 2016-17, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), now Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), invested approximately $1.94 billion to support the delivery of kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) education for First Nations students ordinarily living on reserve. In addition, $165 million was invested in First Nations education infrastructure for capital projects, targeted projects, and salary or administration expenses.
INAC (now ISC) updated its calculation approach for K-12 operating expenditures in 2013-14 to better align how it reports elementary and secondary expenditures with methods used by Statistics Canada and provincial ministries of education. There were two major changes to the previous methodology: funding for the operations and maintenance of school buildings has now been included, and funding for elementary and secondary education provided through self-government agreements has been excluded. For more information regarding the updated methodology, please see our Kindergarten to grade 12 operating expenditures methodology webpage.
Budget 2016 included substantial investments in primary and secondary education on reserve, totalling $2.6 billion over five years starting in 2016–17. This includes funding to address immediate needs and to keep pace with cost growth over the medium term, in addition to investments in language and cultural programming, investments in literacy and numeracy programs and special needs education. In 2016-17 the increased funding resulted in an overall investment of $1.94 billion.
The $1.94 billion for 2016-17 included:
- $1.69 billion for elementary and secondary instructional services, student support services and proposal-based and targeted programs (such as the New Paths for Education Program, First Nation Student Success Program, Education Partnerships Program and High-Cost Special Education Program)
- $120 million to operate and maintain school facilities
- an estimated $127 million to support kindergarten to grade 12 teachers and staff through Band Support Funding and Employee Benefits related to education services
In 2016-2017, Government of Canada's investments in K-12 education supported about 106,500 First Nations students, ordinarily resident on reserve. Considering that a number of these students attended school part-time (such as many kindergarten students), 101, 984 full-time equivalent (FTE) students received support in 2016-2017. There are a number of students from communities under self-government agreements that are not included in this figure (consult Enrolment to find out more). A distribution of these students by region is given in the table below.
|BC||AB||SK||MB||ON||QC||Atlantic||All provinces||% of total|
|First Nation-operated schools||4,639||9,752||15,834||15,143||12,884||6,230||1,661||66,141.9||65%|
|Total FTE students||12,472||16,902||19,418||21,024||20,722||8,171||3,240||101,984.1||100%|
|Note: Figures may not add up due to rounding. FTE counts do not include students under self-government agreements.|
Per student funding
On a per capita basis, INAC (now ISC) provided about $19,010 per FTE student in 2016-2017 for K-12 education operating expenditures. This calculation does not include an investment of an additional $165 million in First Nations education infrastructure for capital projects, targeted projects, and salary or administration expenses on reserve. The table below provides a breakdown of the FTE student enrolment by region and ISC K-12 expenditures displayed as regional totals and regional per FTE student amounts. These per-student averages vary across the country, and any funding comparisons must consider the factors that influence per student funding levels in order to be meaningful (consult Per Student K-12 to find out more).
|Total K-12 operating expenditures (in $ millions||$248.1||$319.9||$324.5||$382.7||$418.4||$167.7||$ 68.8||$ 1938.7|
|Total FTE students||12,507||16,902||19,418||21,024||20,722||8,171||3,240||101,984|
|(A ÷ B) Per FTE student elementary/secondary expenditures||$19,838||$18,924||$16,709||$18,201||$20,193||$20,526||$21,232||$19,010|
|Note: Figures may not add up due to rounding. FTE counts do not include students under self-government agreements.
*The "All provinces" total includes the centrally-managed portion of funding under the New Paths for Education Program ($8.7 M).
Methods of funding
ISC provides funding to First Nations, tribal councils, and regional First Nations educational service organizations who all share some responsibility for administering and delivering elementary and secondary education to students living on reserve. ISC investments in First Nations education for students living on reserve are made through a number of programs that are allocated as core, proposal-based, or targeted funding. The table below describes the different methods of funding ISC uses to allocate funding and organizes each program with its corresponding funding method.
|Method of funding||Description||Program by funding method|
|Core funding||Core funding reflects the majority of investments and supports basic classroom and school operations including paying education staff (principals, teachers, administrators, and other staff), classroom and school supplies, operating and maintaining schools, guidance and counselling, bussing and other services to students, and paying tuition fees. In general, regional offices allocate core funding to First Nations or organizations designated by First Nations that are responsible for managing and delivering education programs and services. Funding levels are most often formula-based and seek to respond to the costs of operating schools based on student population, geographic location, school size, etc. Funding levels are also driven by tuition rates for students attending provincial schools or private schools.|
|Proposal-based funding||Proposal-based funding supports defined and often time-limited projects where funding levels respond to proposals submitted by First Nations, tribal councils, or regional First Nations educational service organizations.|
|Targeted funding||Targeted funding supports very specific initiatives or needs. These investments have their own program terms and conditions, and often include reporting requirements.|
The circle graph, bar graph and chart below provide more details about K-12 operating expenditures for 2016-2017.
2016-2017 K-12 Operating Expenditures for First Nations Education –$1.94 billion
Increases in funding
Financial data: All financial data are sourced from ISC's Integrated Financial System. Amounts include expenses for teachers and staff at federally-operated schools and also reflect total expenditures transferred to First Nations and other partners for the purposes of supporting elementary and secondary education for eligible First Nations students ordinarily resident on reserve attending First Nation-operated, provincially-operated, private or independent, and federally-operated schools. Figures include funding to support:
- instructional services
- student support services
- New Paths for Education programming
- the First Nation Student Success Program
- the Education Partnerships Program
- the High-Cost Special Education Program
- the estimated amount of Employee Benefits and Band Support Funding for K-12 education staff
- the operation and maintenance of education facilities
Enrolment: Student numbers are derived from the ISC Nominal Roll for the 2016-2017 school year. The Nominal Roll, a registry of the number of students residing on reserve who attend school on and off reserve, is collected annually by First Nations and sent to ISC's regional offices. Figures for British Columbia include 35 FTEs (and associated expenditures) residing and attending school in Northern BC but who are funded through the ISC regional office in the Yukon.
Federal schools: There are seven federally-operated schools serving First Nations in Canada. Of these, five (JC Hill Senior Elementary School, Emily C. General School, Oliver Smith-Kawenni Io Elementary School, IL Thomas Odadrihonyani'ta' School, and Jamieson Elementary School) serve the Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario, one (Quinte Mohawk School) serves the Tyendinaga Mohawk in Ontario and one (Legoff School) serves the Cold Lake First Nations in Alberta. Federal schools are located on reserve but are administered by the INAC regional offices in Ontario and Alberta, at the request of First Nations.
Per FTE student K-12 operating expenditures: Calculations of per FTE student elementary or secondary expenditures are included for illustrative purposes only at a regional level. Calculations include those funds allocated for the maintenance of education facilities but not the construction or renovation of education facilities or funding for departmental administration and salaries with respect to education infrastructure. Per-student funding averages vary across the country and any funding comparisons must consider factors such as the type of school or organization (First Nation-operated schools, provincially-operated schools off reserve, federally-operated schools on reserve, private schools on or off reserves or First Nations education organizations), the student population, and the geographic location of schools and students, all of which influence funding levels.
The following education-related expenditures have been excluded from the per capita calculation:
- funding provided under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and Northeastern Quebec Agreement and the Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey Education Agreement. The FTE students associated with the Education Agreements are also not included in the figures provided
- FTE students or related education funding provided under comprehensive self-government arrangements
- funding for post-secondary education
- funding for First Nation and Inuit Cultural Education Centres and the First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy as only a portion of these funds support elementary and secondary students
- capital, targeted and salary or administration investments in First Nations education infrastructure ($165 million).
- ISC Headquarters and ISC Regional Offices salaries and operations costs (with the exception of those going to support federal schools)
- funding provided to support education-related activities through the Professional and Institutional Development Program or Tribal Council Funding
All data reflect the best and most recent available at the time of publication. For any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.