February 3, 2023

Sizable Funding Announcement Fails to Remedy Six Years of Underfunding

The Manitoba government recently announced a 6.1% increase in funding for public schools in 2023/2024, the largest increase the public school system has seen in years.

“We thank government for listening to teachers,” said The Manitoba Teachers’ Society President James Bedford. “We credit our members for their tenacity on this issue, and for communicating their daily struggles with underfunding over the last six years.”

Bedford said it’s obvious to everyone that this announcement does not backfill years of underfunding nor solve the problems it has created. “Cuts to student programs, teacher shortages, class size issues, lack of special needs resources, mental health and Indigenous programing, not enough meal programs, and soaring inflation will continue to challenge public schools next year.”

“Students, teachers and schools are counting on stable, adequate funding year after year to meet their growing needs,” said Bedford. “The insecurity around the yearly yo-yo of funding announcements causes tremendous stress to students and teachers, not to mention divisions which absolutely need stable funding to deliver programs to kids.”

Bedford said the Society sat on the government’s public school funding review committee which was to have delivered a new funding model by now. He says MTS was disappointed when the government suspended those meetings and said the new funding model won’t be ready until next year.

“Our goal is not to simply hold the line,” said Bedford. “We need adequate, stable and equitable funds to continually improve programs and services to students.”