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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
Dec. 21, 2020
Ministry of Education
Increased funding supports students, keeps schools safe

VICTORIA – Budget 2020 ensures B.C.’s education system will have the highest school district operating and capital funding ever to support students.

An additional $288 million committed in combined one-time provincial and federal COVID-19 relief funding this school year will keep B.C.’s K-12 schools safe during the pandemic for students and staff.

  • Public schools in B.C. will receive $5.49 billion in operating grants in 2020-21 to support 547,633 students enrolled in schools this year, an increase of more than $96 million over last year.
  • Districts are also receiving an additional $151.5 million to fund the recently signed collective agreement with teachers.
  • Including special grants, total operating funding per student is estimated at $11,239 for the 2020-21 school year, 16.9% higher than in 2016-17.
  • This increased operating funding is providing record investments for a new supplement for children and youth in care, Indigenous learners, rural schools, students with special needs and supports for students with mental health needs.
  • Children and youth in care, children living in low-income families and a greater number of students with mental health challenges are benefiting from a new $23-million supplement being allocated to school districts in 2020-21.
  • Districts can use the supplement to provide additional supports and services to these students, including trauma counselling, tutoring, mental health prevention strategies or hiring additional support staff.
  • Students at rural schools will benefit from the largest one-year funding increase ever for their schools, with $321.6 million allocated this year, $26.5 million more than last year and $49.4 million more than in 2016-17.
  • The amount of money school districts are receiving to support Indigenous learners and students with special needs is also increasing for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Targeted funding for Indigenous learners is $90.9 million in 2020-21, an increase of $21.3 million (31%) since the 2016-17 school year.
  • Students with special needs are being supported with $627 million in supplemental funding in 2020-21, an increase of $162 million (35%) since the 2016-17 school year.
  • Operating grants are released in December each year, based on actual enrolment as of Sept. 30, providing school districts with recalculated funding to support their operations for the current school year.

Learn More:

Operating grants for the 2020-21 school year are available for viewing here:

For a backgrounder with enrolment breakdowns for each school district, visit:

For a backgrounder with all B.C. public school grants and COVID-19 relief funding, visit:

Federal and provincial COVID-19 relief funding information is available here:

Ministry of Education
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 356-5963

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