Implementation of the new funding model for First Nation education occurred April 2019 and is considered an Interim Funding Approach (IFA). In Ontario, the IFA is based on the Ontario Grants for Student Needs (GSN) with enhancements for language and culture, full day kindergarten and before and after school programming. The IFA will apply until First Nations negotiate and conclude Regional Education Agreements, or other types of arrangements with the federal government.
The GSN is used by the province of Ontario to provide funding to school boards, which supports education in the provincial setting. The GSN is a series of grants based on the demographic and geographic environment in which services are delivered to students. It responds to variable cost factors such as school size, remoteness, language and culture, socio-economic status, and incidence rates for vulnerable students and students with special needs. The GSN is adjusted annually responding to provincial budget announcements and new regulations. These adjustments are applied annually to the IFA as well.
The IFA determines allocations for First Nations education based on an approximation of how much funding First Nations would receive if the provincial formula was applied to on-reserve education. The IFA is not prescriptive; First Nations create budgets around their community’s education priorities and the funding generated by the formula.
For more information on the provincial GSN:
20-21 GSN Technical Paper: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/funding/2021/2020-21-technical-paper.pdf
For information on how the GSN is used to calculate the IFA:
Click here for the Funding Overview