education spending

Ontario PCs promise disappointing status quo for education in the province

Critically, the PC platform does nothing to expand choice for parents.

Facts belie misguided perceptions about public school spending in Canada

Per student spending in Ontario up more than 23%, despite claims to the contrary

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Education Spending and Public Student Enrolment in Canada, 2017 Edition


  • To accurately understand education spending, both enrolment changes and the effects of price changes must be considered.
  • For Canada as a whole, over the last decade (2005–06 to 2014–15), the increase in per-student spending in public schools is 22.3 percent (once adjustments have been made for inflation). Specifically, per-student education spending in public schools, accounting for changes in prices, increased from $10,339 to $12,646 between 2005–06 and 2014–15.
  • Prince Edward Island saw the largest increase in per-student spending in public schools (after adjusting for inflation): 41.8 percent, from $8,891 in 2005–06 to $12,610 in 2014–15. The smallest increase was in British Columbia (14.0 percent). Per-student spending in public schools in all 10 provinces increased over this period (after accounting for the effects of inflation).
  • Saskatchewan had the highest level of per-student spending among the provinces in 2014–15, at $15,040 per student. It also had the second highest increase in inflation-adjusted per-student spending over the period (37.2 percent).
  • In aggregate, Canada increased education spending in public schools by $11.2 billion more between 2005–06 and 2014–15 than was necessary to account for enrolment and price changes. If per-student spending in public schools had remained constant over this period, the aggregate amount of education spending in public schools would have been 17.6 percent lower.
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Understanding the Increases in Education Spending, 2017 Edition


  • Education spending on public schools in Canada increased by $17.5 billion (37.7 percent) between 2005-06 and 2014-15, from $46.4 billion to $63.9 billion.
  • Compensation (salaries and wages, fringe benefits, and pensions) accounts for most of the increase, growing from $33.5 billion in 2005–06 to $47.2 billion in 2014–15. Salaries and wages increased by 36.1 percent, from $27.6 billion in 2005–06 to $37.5 billion in 2014–15. Fringe benefits increased 53.6 percent from $3.6 billion to $5.5 billion over the period.
  • Teacher pension costs increased 77.8 percent from $2.4 billion in 2005–06 to $4.3 billion in 2014–15. Pension costs increased as a share of total education spending on public schools from 5.2 percent in 2005–06 to 6.7 percent in 2014–15.
  • Capital spending increased 52.3 percent over this period, increasing from $3.3 billion to $5.1 billion in 2014–15. As a share of total education spending in public schools, capital spending increased from 7.2 percent in 2005–06 to 8.0 percent in 2014–15.

Manitoba budget—cutting independent school funding may actually increase education costs

Manitoba is Canada’s second highest spender on public schools, spending $13,887 per public school student in 2013/14.

Budget primer—getting the facts straight on Alberta independent school funding

Independent schools are populated by students from families with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, not just the super-rich.

Right idea, wrong messenger, for education reform in Ontario

Unlike all four western provinces and Quebec, Ontario offers no funding for independent schools.