Educational Finance In Saskatchewan

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Educational Finance In Saskatchewan

  1. 1. Educational Finance in Saskatchewan By: Darryl Hunter
  2. 2. Educational Budgets and Expenditures <ul><li>The Ministry of Education is responsible for developing and maintaining an equitable, transparent and clearly articulated financing system. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Figure 41: Provincial Budget Expenditures, by Category, 2007-08 and 2008-09 Fiscal Years
  4. 4. What are Saskatchewan school division expenditures? <ul><li>School divisions in Saskatchewan are responsible for funds received from the government and from taxpayers. Changes in the spending patterns of school divisions may demonstrate the evolving needs of the system, allowing for more accurate future planning. </li></ul>
  5. 5. School Divisions Expenditures (in Current Dollars) as a Percentage of Total Operational Expenditure, 2006-07 and 2007-08
  6. 6. Total Expenditure of Saskatchewan School Divisions, 1990 to 2008
  7. 7. What percentage of school division expenditures come from the provincial K-12 Operating Grant? <ul><li>School division expenditures are funded either locally, from sources such as property taxes, or from provincial sources such as the K-12 Operating Grant. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Per Student Expenditure on Education, 1981 to 2008
  9. 9. Per Student Expenditure on Education, by School Division Classification, 2004 to 2007-08
  10. 10. Administrative and Instructional Costs per Student, 2004 to 2007-08
  11. 11. Numbers of Students in Provincially Funded Schools, by Type and Location, 1991-92 to 2008-09
  12. 12. Average Class Sizes, by Location and Student-Educator Ratio, 2000-01 to 2008-09
  13. 13. Student-Educator Ratios, Canada and the Provinces, 2000-01 to 2006-07
  14. 14. Thirty years of criticism in Saskatchewan (as elsewhere) <ul><li>Local Government Finance Commission ( 1984 )-increase provincial share of funding </li></ul><ul><li>Scharf-Langlois Report (1991)- recommended resource-cost model </li></ul><ul><li>Boughen Commission (2003)- reduce reliance on property taxes </li></ul><ul><li>School Division Restructuring (2005-07)- redevelop Foundation Operating Grant (FOG) </li></ul><ul><li>Reiter Report( 2009)- develop a new method for financing education to achieve fairer balance </li></ul>
  15. 15. General Objectives for Changes : <ul><li>1) Attaining a fairer balance in education funding </li></ul><ul><li>2) Ensuring the education system is properly funded </li></ul><ul><li>3) Significantly reducing the education portion of property taxes </li></ul>
  16. 16. Considering different methods for financing PreK-12 education <ul><li>Foundation Grant Method </li></ul><ul><li>Prototype School Method </li></ul><ul><li>Resource Cost Method </li></ul>
  17. 17. 1. Foundation Grant Method <ul><li>Has existed since 1920s in United States and 1970s in Sask. </li></ul><ul><li>Combines provincial and local resources to provide every student with a level of funding sufficient for an adequate education </li></ul><ul><li>The jurisdiction first recognizes a cost for providing an adequate education and then provides financial assistance proportionate to the local board’s wealth </li></ul><ul><li>Local school divisions are required to make a uniform effort to raise revenue, usually in the form of a consistent property tax rate. </li></ul>
  18. 18. A generic formula can demonstrate the calculation of a foundation grant for each school board: <ul><li>G = (E – tB) P </li></ul><ul><li>Where: </li></ul><ul><li>G is the grant to the school division, </li></ul><ul><li>E is the foundation expenditure level per student , </li></ul><ul><li>T is the property tax rate that the province expects the school to impose on the local property assessment base, </li></ul><ul><li>B is the property assessment per student in the school divisions, and </li></ul><ul><li>P Is the student population in the school division </li></ul><ul><li>School divisions where local tax revenue is less than the foundation expenditure level receive provincial grants. Where local tax revenue exceeds the foundation level, school divisions do not receive provincial grants. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Foundation Grant method (cont’d) <ul><li>A major issue in developing a model based on a foundation grant methodology is determining the level of foundation expenditures </li></ul><ul><li>Some governments base their foundation levels on available revenues </li></ul><ul><li>Policymakers have a reasonable idea of the amount of government revenue available for education and the amount of revenue that will be generated locally, most through property taxes </li></ul><ul><li>The foundation level can be determined by combining these two figures and dividing by the student </li></ul><ul><li>A criticism of this approach is that it does not provide stability over time because government and local revenues fluctuate </li></ul><ul><li>The approach may also not keep pace with the rising cost of education delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Some governments try to reflect actual cost increases </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, because this approach is based on available revenue rather than actual costs, it is less responsive to total education cost issues </li></ul>
  20. 20. Strengths <ul><li>Easy to understand and implement </li></ul><ul><li>Assists the school divisions with a low property tax base (poor rural and northern school divisions) </li></ul><ul><li>Enables local school divisions to exercise their autonomy by raising taxes and providing service in excess of foundation levels </li></ul>
  21. 21. Weaknesses <ul><li>Funding levels do not keep pace with the actual cost of delivering educational services during inflationary periods </li></ul><ul><li>The program does not address the issue of funding inequalities. Vast differences in property valuations mean there are wealthy and poor school divisions </li></ul><ul><li>Highlights contests between property, consumption and income tax interests </li></ul><ul><li>Insensitive to actual expenditure requirements </li></ul>
  22. 22. 2. Prototype Schools Method <ul><li>Prototypes are hypothetical schools with specific characteristics and resources such as “Full service” schools </li></ul><ul><li>Typically, prototype schools are created at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, although some studies have created prototype schools with different grade combinations, such as K-8, 6-12, or K-12. </li></ul><ul><li>The objective of the prototype school model is to determine the average per student expenditure level needed to provide an appropriate education for various categories of students </li></ul><ul><li>A separate calculation is used to determine the distribution of student participating in special education programs. Expenditures are distributed on a per student basis. </li></ul><ul><li>Expenditures include items such as supplies and equipment, transportation, food, services, and compensation expenses for several non instructional positions </li></ul><ul><li>Each category is divided by the province-wide FTE enrolment and then multiplied by the total FTE total enrolment in each prototype school to reach the categorical expenditure </li></ul><ul><li>The expenditure allocation patterns at the three baseline schools are then cross-referenced against allocation patterns at school performing at levels higher than expected based on their proportion of low income student. The model refers to these schools as successful schools </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback from principals, education business managers to verify the accuracy of the baseline </li></ul>
  23. 23. Strengths <ul><li>Provides an explicit starting point to consider appropriate level of funding in relation to what already exists </li></ul><ul><li>Prototype schools present resources in a format that is easy to understand, even for those not highly familiar with educational budgeting </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrates clearly what is being purchased with the additional funds being allotted to schools </li></ul>
  24. 24. Weaknesses <ul><li>Postulates that “average” schools operate in exceptional situations </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes that people can agree on what an average learning program requirements looks like </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively inflexible model to changing economic circumstances </li></ul>
  25. 25. 3. Resource Cost Method <ul><li>Based on an analysis of local school division costs to deliver required educational services. It takes into account program and service specifications from the provincial level, student enrolment patterns from the school divisions, and resource price from the marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasizes the measurement of education resources in physical units, and how data is organized in terms of service delivery. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensures that schools have the essential programs and services to allow for equitable educational opportunities and the best learning outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on two key areas: school personnel and non-personnel expenditures (School Personnel include teaching staff, professional staff, administrative staff, janitorial and maintenance staff, and, pupil transportation staff; Non-Personnel Resources: Supplies and equipment, building operation and maintenance, resources for special need students, pupil transportation services, and other specialized services </li></ul><ul><li>The model beings by creating a list of all school personnel who provide educational programs and services </li></ul>
  26. 26. Resource Cost Method (cont’d) <ul><li>Then a list of all non-personnel resources is created including: </li></ul><ul><li>Supplies and equipment are required to support curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized populations are children with disabilities, limited from a low socio-economic background </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation costs to and from school must be included in any funding model </li></ul>
  27. 27. Strengths <ul><li>Sensitive to the costs of mandated programs </li></ul><ul><li>Provides a basis for funding the true costs of delivering programs </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to understand and implement </li></ul><ul><li>Efficient and neutral in the sense that school divisions cannot influence the amount of the funding by altering expenditure patterns </li></ul>
  28. 28. Weaknesses <ul><li>Ongoing need for accurate and valid data creates administrative burden for school </li></ul><ul><li>divisions </li></ul>

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