Facts are actually not hard to come by. Three google searches found this page – Summary Public School Indicators for Canada, the Provinces and Territories, 2001/2002 to 2007/2008 at Statscan.
Statscan uses the full amount spent on P-12 education, including money raised through any other source, municipal or federal. The latest year Statscan has up is 2007/08, so I am going with that, because it gives a nice benchmark against where the rest of the nation stacks up.
A little Excel ninja action and we have some facts to present. The one liberty I took was to show on two tables what a 22% cut to school board funding from the province looks like. I know that the Minister is now saying 5% a year for three years (or so we have gathered) but until we see some hard facts, a cumulative 16% cut verses a 22% cut is near as no matter the same given the impact it would have on the bottom line.
Note on the 22% cut. I calculated a 22% cut on the $930 million that was given by DOE to school boards in fiscal 2007/2008, not the full 1.2 billion budget.
Here is a summary of my conclusions, data follows:
- Nova Scotia maintains the national average in student/educator ratios, forth in the nation overall, at 14 teachers per FTE student, so not super high, unlike what some pundits are saying.
- Nova Scotia beats the national average in terms of graduation, though the cynic in me wonders about what in business we would call “quality assurance.” Someone want to email me some national exam statistics (EDIT or other employment on graduation success type stats?)
- Nova Scotia has the second fastest shrinking P-12 enrolment, after Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Nova Scotia is one of the smallest provinces, and our P-12 operating expenditures, ranked 4th, are in line with our population.
- A 22% cut to core operating funding from the province would roll back overall funding $168 million, or to 2001 funding levels.
- Nova Scotia is ranked 5th over all in terms of overall expenditures per student. We spend all of six dollars more than the national average.
- A 22% cut would result in the worst funded P-12 school system in Canada.
|Student-educator ratio P-12|
|Prince Edward Island||13.9||11.5||-17%|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||13.3||12.5||-6%|
|Nova Scotia maintains the national average in student/educator ratios, forth in the nation overall.|
|Prince Edward Island||81||84.3||4%|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||76.9||76.3||-1%|
|Nova Scotia beats the national average in terms of graduation, though the cynic in me wonders about what in business we would call “quality assurance”|
|Operating expenditures P-12|
|Nova Scotia AFTER CUT||1,096.80||1,108.00||1%|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||571.4||690.7||21%|
|Prince Edward Island||145.3||185.5||28%|
|Nova Scotia is one of the smallest provinces, and our P-12 operating expenditures ranked 4th are in line with our population. A 22% cut to core operating funding from the province would roll back overall funding $168 million, or to 2001 levels.|
|Full Time Equivalent Enrolments P-12|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||84,236||69,733||-17%|
|Prince Edward Island||22,843||20,536||-10%|
|Nova Scotia has the second fastest shrinking P-12 enrolment, after Newfoundland and Labrador.|
|Operating expenditures per student P-12|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||7,191||9,430||31%|
|Prince Edward Island||5,961||9,055||52%|
|Nova Scotia AFTER 22% CUT||6,916||8,189||18%|
|Nova Scotia is ranked 5th over all in terms of overall expenditures per student. We spend six dollars more than the national average. A 22% cut would result in the worst funded P-12 school system in Canada.|