I have received a few email questions regarding targeted funding and concerns over the distribution of this funding provincially and locally. The essential questions being asked are:
1. How much funding per student is given?
2. What does “targeted” funding mean?
3. What are districts supposed to spend those funds on?There was some concern expressed that not all funding was being used to support Aboriginal students. I do not have all the answers yet around this but thought I would post the response I received from Marj Dumont at the BCTF Aboriginal Program when I asked her.
The information that parents are looking for can be found on the Ministry of Education website: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/policy/policies/funding_abed.htm and http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/k12funding/funding/11-12/operating-grants-manual.pdf (funding is listed on this site).
The target funding is at $1160 per student self identified as having Aboriginal ancestry. This funding is intended for over and above the curriculum, not intended for implementing the curriculum. And again the above website gives the explanation of what the funding is to be used for. The Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee at each district gives advice to the boards on the allocation of the target funding. Most districts are using the funds to hire both support staff and teachers to support students (culturally).The policy often limits the service to schools that have low enrolment of Aboriginal students, however the AEAC can suggest ways to support those students. It is very important that parents attend the meetings so that they can voice their concerns as well.
The allocation of the target funding should be transparent. If parents or community members request for this information, the districts should be providing them with this information.I welcome these questions and any answers that might be available, please feel free to forward to me. How is targeted funding distributed in your district? How transparent is the process?