Kindergarten to grade 12 operating expenditures 2016-2017 overview

In 2016-17, 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.

Background

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 2016-17

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:

Student enrolment

In 2016-2017, Government of Canada  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.

Table 1: First Nations K-12 education: Number of FTE students by type of school (2016-2017)
  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%
Provincial schools  7,143  6,838  3,556  5,693  5,915 1,597  1,536  32,277.6 32%
Private/Independent schools  725  243  28  189  525  344  44  2,096.6 2%
Federal schools    70      1,398       1,468.0 1%
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, 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).

Table 2: First Nations K-12 education operating expenditures: Funding breakdowns per FTE student (2016-2017)
  BC AB SK MB ON QC Atlantic All provinces*
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.

Table 3: Methods of funding for K-12 First Nation education
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

ISC K-12 Operating Expenditures 2016-2017
Description of the ISC K-12 Operating Expenditures 2016-2017

The above graphic presents a percentage breakdown of ISC K-12 operating expenditures for 2016-2017 by program. Programs are also grouped by whether they are allocated as core, proposal-based, or targeted funding.

ISC K-12 operating expenditures for 2016-2017 by program and percent share of total investments are as follows, in descending order of allocation amount:

  • Instructional Services provides core funding and accounts for 53.2% of total expenditures
  • The High-Cost Special Education Program provides targeted funding and accounts for 12.9% of total expenditures
  • Student Support Services provides core funding and accounts for 8.4% of total expenditures
  • The estimated proportion of Employee Benefits and Band Support Funding that relates to education is provided as core funding and accounts for 6.6% percent of total expenditures
  • Operations and Maintenance of Education Infrastructure provides core funding and accounts for 6.2% of total expenditures
  • The First Nation Student Success Program provides proposal-based funding and accounts for 6.3%of total expenditures
  • The New Paths for Education Program provides proposal-based funding and accounts for 5.8% of total expenditures
  • The Education Partnerships Program provides proposal-based funding and accounts for 0.6% percent of total expenditures

Increases in funding

ISC K-12 Operating Expenditures (2008-2009 to 2016-2017)
Description of the K-12 Operating Expenditures (2008-2009 to 2016-2017)

Between 2008-09 and 2016-2017 and the percentage funding increases between years are as follows:

  • Fiscal Year 2008-2009: Investment of $1.369 billion
  • Fiscal Year 2009-2010: Investment of $1.428 billion, representing an increase of 4.4 percent from the previous year
  • Fiscal Year 2010-2011: Investment of $1.461 billion, representing an increase of 2.3 percent from the previous year
  • Fiscal Year 2011-2012: Investment of $1.498 billion, representing an increase of 2.5 percent from the previous year
  • Fiscal Year 2012-2013: Investment of $1.544 billion, representing an increase of 3.1 percent from the previous year
  • Fiscal Year 2013-2014: Investment of $1.582 billion, representing an increase of 2.5 percent from the previous year
  • Fiscal Year 2014-2015: Investment of $1.597 billion, representing an increase of 0.94% from the previous year
  • Fiscal Year 2015-2016: Investment of $1.639 billion, representing an increase of 2.6% from the previous year
  • Fiscal Year 2016-2017: Investment of $1.939 billion, representing an increase of 18.3% from the previous year

Taking into account all of these year-over-year increases, the total increase in funding from fiscal year 2008-2009 to the end of fiscal year 2016-2017 amounts to 41.7%.

In order to achieve meaningful gains in education outcomes for First Nations, Budget 2016 included significant funding to support the transformation of the current on reserve education system through a respectful process of consultation and partnership with First Nations.

Explanatory notes

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, and 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:

All data reflect the best and most recent available at the time of publication. For any questions, please contact Infopubs@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca.

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