Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No funding cuts, freezes for schools: new minister

Allum makes uncommon reassurance

  • Print

Good news for schools and universities -- the NDP won't cut or even freeze you next year.

Public schools and universities will get at least the same increase in funding next year as they got this year, new Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum said this week.

None of Allum's recent predecessors has made such assurances months before official funding announcements.

'I regard schools as community assets. Consequently, we want to keep them open. If they're not there, you have weak neighbourhoods and weak communities'

-- Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum

The NDP has always increased kindergarten to Grade 12 operating grants on its share of funding the public school system by at least the level of provincial growth, and that won't change despite economic conditions, Allum said.

Kindergarten to Grade 12 public schools received 2.3 per cent, or $27.2 million, extra funding this year.

And universities can expect to get at least the same 2.5 per cent hike to operating grants as this year. Tuition will remain capped at the rate of inflation.

Allum said the NDP has increased public schools' operating grants by more than $450 million since 1999, including the $27.2 million this year.

"That's been our historical record, and I don't expect that to change," Allum said. "We want quality in the classroom."

The Selinger government reneged this school year on the last year of a three-year commitment to boost university grants five per cent, settling for 2.5 per cent. Still, it was far better than the slash-and-burn budgets in provinces such as Alberta.

"You look at trends in post-secondary education and everyone is going backwards," which undermines the economy and everything provincial governments need to do, Allum said.

"My firm belief is it will not be less than 2.5 per cent next year. That is the expectation (among universities), and what I think we will deliver on," the minister said.

Allum said it is premature to take positions on other major issues after two weeks as minister, though he will look at every aspect of K-12 funding, including a possible cap on education property-tax increases. However, government policy will remain hands-off on teachers' contracts unless both teachers and trustees want the province involved; now, only teachers want provincewide bargaining.

Expect no change on amalgamation of school divisions -- still completely voluntary -- and on the 2008 moratorium on closing small schools, said Allum.

"I regard schools as community assets," he said. "Consequently, we want to keep them open. If they're not there, you have weak neighbourhoods and weak communities."

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2013 A12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Vendors say ugly Christmas sweaters create brisk business

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young gosling prepares to eat dandelions on King Edward St Thursday morning-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 17- bonus - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you watch The Interview?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google