Manitoba’s Expensive Public Education System

Blog, Education, Frontier Centre, Uncategorized


Manitoba continues to spend more per capita on public elementary and secondary education than the Canadian average. When benchmarked against affordability, Manitoba has the most expensive public school system.

Between 1996 and 2003, enrolment in Manitoba’s public schools declined by nearly 3 percent, but the number of educators employed increased by almost 1½ percent. Their average remuneration increased about 17.5 percent in current dollars, to about $61,000.

Manitoba’s total public school spending over those seven years went up 22.7 percent in current dollars. The Canadian average for public school spending by provinces over the same time rose just under 20 percent. If Manitoba had kept its gross increase in public school sending just to the Canadian average, the annual savings would amount to nearly $25 million.

But Manitoba’s population increased much less than that of most provinces over that period. The Canadian average for public school spending per capita, in current dollars, rose 13.3 percent between 1997 and 2003, but Manitoba’s rose more than 20 percent. If Manitoba had kept its per capita public school spending at the Canadian average, the annual savings would amount to $91 million.

Alberta is the only province that spends more per public school student than Manitoba. But annual incomes there, and in many other provinces that spend less per student are much higher than in Manitoba. When benchmarked for affordability, Manitoba’s public school system is by far the most expensive in Canada.

SOURCE: All the above data is contained in Summary public school indicators for the provinces and territories, 1996-1997 to 2002-2003, Statistics Canada, Catalogue: 81-595-MIE — No. 022.