Many provinces see rise in per-student spending on public schools

By: Shazia Nazir
A new study released last month by the Fraser Institute released earlier this months shows education spending on public schools across Canada has increased in 7 of 10 provinces when compared to the previous five year period available.
“Contrary to the popular narrative that education spending has been cut, spending increases in public schools exceeds what was required to account for enrolment changes and inflation,” said Paige MacPherson, associate director of education policy at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Education Spending in Public Schools in Canada, Fall 2021.
Spending increased on a per-student basis in seven of ten provinces with  Nova Scotia seeing the largest increase at 9.2%.  Quebec at 7.3%, Prince Edward Island at 5.1% and Ontario at 2.8% made up the top four. Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta recorded decreases.
New Brunswick recorded an increase of $15,486, and British Columba had the lowest at $12,513.  The average per-student funding was $14,070.
In terms of per-student spending in public schools as of 2018-19, New Brunswick had the highest level at $15,486 while British Columbia had the lowest at $12,513. The national average was $14,070.“Before parents and taxpayers can begin to assess value for money in education, it’s crucial that they understand how much is being spent and exactly where these dollars are going,” said MacPherson.
The study also looks at compensation (salaries, wages, fringe benefits, and pensions) contributed the most to national spending growth. “Compensation increases – including teachers’ salaries, pensions, benefits, and other costs – are driving the spending growth in Canadian public schools,” MacPherson said.