The Province announced today that it is allocating $58 million in new funding for the 2021-22 school year to ensure continued pandemic protection for schools and toward resources to support the mental health and well-being of students and staff.
“We want to ensure the classroom environment continues to be as safe as possible while making focused investments to address the learning impacts of the pandemic,” said Education Minister Cliff Cullen.
Investments for next school year include:
- $40 million for the per pupil allocation to school divisions and independent schools for additional staffing, learning and technology, and health and safety;
- $6 million for potential costs for PPE;
- $5 million for the Kindergarten to Grade 8 Remote Learning Support Centre for students who are medically compromised; and
- $7 million in contingency including a $5-million recovery learning fund.
The recovery learning contingency fund will be used to address the impacts of the pandemic on student learning. It will support several streams including:
- mental health and wellness,
- literacy and numeracy,
- planning and assessment,
- student engagement, and
- professional learning.
The Kindergarten to Grade 8 Remote Learning Support Centre will support students requiring medical accommodations and not able to return to in-person classes. The centre, operated by St. James Assiniboia and Pembina Trails school divisions, will employ teachers, clinical staff and technical support to provide remote learning for 1,000 students.
For the current school year, the province is projected to invest up to $170 million by the end of June including $85 million in federal contributions, the minister said.
“The funding provided during the last school year was effective in protecting students and teachers by keeping schools as safe as possible and open for in-class learning,” said Cullen. “This round of funding builds on that success to ensure schools are safe next school year and will support costs associated with meeting any public health measures.”
Manitoba Education is working with education stakeholders and public health officials to ensure teachers and students are supported as they continue to teach and learn during this global pandemic. It is anticipated there will be some level of public health measures for fall 2021 and the types of measures in the fall will be dependent upon vaccination rollout, the minister added.
The Province says a strong vaccination campaign for students 12 years and older is underway designed to prepare them to return to full-time, in-class learning. For more information on young people and vaccinations visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/young-people.html.