The Learning Opportunities Grant 2017
In 1998, the province introduced the Learning Opportunities Grant to provide greater financial assistance to boards with higher proportions of students whose socio-economic status meant they were more likely to be deemed ‘at-risk’ of academic failure or disengagement.
This year, People for Education examined how the grant had changed, and found that while the total funding in the grant has increased substantially since it was introduced in 1998, the proportion of the grant based on demographics has declined. When it was introduced, 100% of the grant was allocated to school boards based on the percentage of students whose socio-economic status put them at risk of struggling in school. By 2008 that proportion had declined to 82%, and in 2018 it will be 47%.
According to the report, the funding changes have resulted in a shift away from the grant’s original purpose of redistributive equity, to a greater focus on improving students’ scores in literacy and numeracy.