Saskatchewan: System of School Grants (1870-1974)

John Bateson's Outline (to '69 only)

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John Batesan's Outline (to '69 only) SASKATCHEWAN: SYSTEM OF SCHOOL GRANTS (1870-1974)


- Saskatchewan's present area was incorporated into the Northwest territories.

- One of the first Acts of the Territorial Council was toregulate voluntary associations and religious institutions requiring them to keep a register of children in their care showing "the nationality or tribe to which they belong."

- In the early years, education was one of the few services demanded of local government, and school districts were often the first form of any local organization.


- The question of providing facilities for education was first encountered. The Territorial Council received a petition from two individuals requesting assistance for erecting a school and paying a teacher. The Council had no power to make grants to schools and certainly no funds with which to do so. It was even doubtful whether it could grant power to a local board to impose taxes for this purpose.


- Minor assistance amounting to $2,000.00 was provided to meet one half the cost of teacher's salaries in a few schools supported by religious institutions or by voluntary contributions.


- The School Ordinance Act first provided for organization of school districts. (not more than one township-minimum of 10 pupils)

- The Act provided a tax limit of five mills for operating purpose, with an additional rate for debenture charges, to be levied upon real and personal property and incomes. (debentures were to be issued only for the erection of school buildings and not until 1887 were boards allowed to borrow for current operations)

- The Act also established grants equal to one half the teacher's: salary.

- In the following years government assistance was extended in order to achieve three major aims:

1) to encourage the employment of skilled teachers.

2) to encourage the highest possible attendance of pupils.

3) to improve the quality of buildings and equipment.


- Teacher grants were payable at the rate of $350 for the holder of a first class certificate, $300 for a second class, $250 for a third.

- An additional pupil grant of $2.00 per pupil per year was earned by schools with an average daily attendance of 8 students and in operation for one term; a second term brought an extra 50 cents per pupil.

- A further grant equal to the pupil grant was made if the inspector reported that minimum standards for upkeep of property and progress of pupils had been achieved.

- To schools employing assistant teachers an extra $150.00 was paid far the first and $100.00 for each additional teacher, provided that the average daily attendance per teacher was 20.


- Additional grant of $350.00 to school district employing a high school teacher.


- Two significant changes in grant system.

1) introduced the principal of per diem grant for a maximum number of teaching days.

2) the differential between rural and urban schools, establishing a somewhat higher rate for the rural districts.


- The basic grant for each elementary classroom was 75 cents per day for the first 160 days of operation each year, and $1.00 per day for each day over that period up to a maximum of 210 days.

- An additional 10 cents per day was paid to those schools hiring professional teachers.

- Other special grants were made to assist newly organized school districts during the first three to four years in which they operated.


- School grants were revised to $1.50 per room per day for one to five classrooms, $1.30 for 6 to 10 rooms, $1.10 for 11 to 25 rooms, and 90 cents for over 25.

- Continuation and high school have always received grants in addition to the elementary rate.


- $1.50 plus $2.00 per room.


- Grants were reduced by one third for all elementary schools. Continuation and high schools reduced to $1.00 plus $2.00 per room.


- Both previous schedules were returned.


- A form of school district equalization grant came into effect. Range 8100,000.00-$50,000.00 assessment per classroom.


- The first formula for equalization grants fixed the minimum cost of operation at $1,500 per elementary classroom and $1,800 per continuation oz high school classroom.

- Within the formula the income of each unit was calculated at 9 mills on the rural assessment and 14 mills on the urban assessment of the unit plus:

(1) The grants actually paid to each district in the unit consisting of:

(a) the flat per diem grant per classroom;

(b) the flat per diem grant pet continuation or high school classroom;

(c) the school district equalization grant.

(2) An amount representing a portion of the sum estimated to cover the cost of education in a district where no school was in operation.


- The school district equalization grant was extended to the town districts having an assessment less than $100,000 per classroom.


- $1,800 for elementary classrooms

- $2,100 for high school classrooms

- 10 mills on rural assessment

- This was not given to school districts within a school unit but units received $5000 to offset any loss in revenue.


- Extended to provide equalization grants for school units.


- $2,100 for elementary classrooms

- $2,200 for high school classrooms

- 11 mills on rural assessment

- 15 mills on urban assessment

- Up to the early 50's grants were based primarily on:

(1) operation grants

(2) equalization grant (based on assessment)

(3) special grants (conveyance of students, number of classrooms, number of students, etc.)


- Introduced an equalization formula for use in distributing capital grants to the large units. (was not used for non- unit districts.)


(cost of building programme in school unit - .001 X total assessment in unit / assessment per classroom) X $40,000


- The following is a breakdown of the existing provincial grants during the mid 50's:

(1) Operation: $2.50 per day far all zooms, including those receiving extra grants for continuation or high school work.

(2) Initial Building: $100 for first school house.

(3) High School or Continuation School: an extra $1.00 per day (conditions stated).

(4) Tuition of Non-Residents: $30 per year but 15 cents per day if a pupil's attendance falls below 80% in regularity.

(5) Vocational or Technical Instructions: $1.75 per room per day.

(6) (a) Equalization (non-unit districts):

- If a rural, village or consolidated district or any other district with an area of 36 square miles or more has an assessment less than $130,000 per room it shall be paid a grant of 1/200 ($1,690-1.3% of assessment per classroom) per teaching day.

Maximum grant under this paragraph is $4.55 per teaching day.

- If a city or town district has fewer than 50 classrooms, an area less than 36 square miles and an assessment less than $125,000, it shall be paid a grant of 1/200 ($1,625-1.3% of assessment per classroom) per teaching day. Maximum grant under this paragraph is $3.75 per teaching day.

(b) Equalization (large units and also cities and towns with more than 50 classrooms):

- If E be the number of elementary classrooms

- H be the number of continuation or high school classrooms,

Or be assessment to rural parts of unit,

Au be assessment of urban parts of unit, then the equalization grant is ($)

(2,750E+2,950H)-(500E+700H)+(.014Ar+ .018Au)

In units with schools closed but conveying the pupils $1,000 is added to the programme cost for each such district. Formerly the sum of $800 was added. A minimum grant of $10,000 will be paid each school unit.

This minimum does not apply to towns and cities. Where a high school is organized under The Secondary Education Act in a town or city and the assessment of a district in such town or city computed on the basis of the equalized assessment and in proportion to the taxable assessments of the districts organized under The School Act per roam in operation is less than $100,000 the grant shall be 1/200 ($1,200-1.2% of assessment per classroom) per day. This grant shall not exceed $1.50 per teaching day and shall not apply if the grant far city or town in non-unit district (given above) applies.


In a city or town in a non-unit district and in a city or town where a high school is organized under The Secondary Education Act for districts with 10 or more rooms in operation an extra classroom is allowed if there is a full-time supervising principal and one-half room for each supervisor or special instructor similarly employed.

(7) School Lunches: a grant of 50% of cost of initial equipment to a maximum of $30.

(8) Science and Other Equipment:-

(a) For first year elementary science of high School course 50% of initial cost of equipment to maximum of $25.

(b) For named science courses in the high school, 50% of initial cast of equipment to maximum of $100.

(c) For agriculture, home economics, commercial work, shop work, motor mechanics, 40% of equipment to maximum of $300 per year (maximum increased to $500 if staff instructing pupils above grade VII totals 6 or more).

(d) Phonographs, radios, projectors, as in item 5 under such grants to schools under The Secondary Education Act.

(e) Practical subjects as in (c) to pupils above grade VI, 50% of cost of equipment to maximum of $125 per year.

(9) Conveyance:

(a) If assessment in the district is $125,000 or more per classroom, one-third cost of driving conveyance.

(b) If assessment is less than $125,000 per classroom, one-half cost of driving conveyances.

(10) Others: There are other small grants to night schools, community schools, classes far atypical children, super- vision, building of teacher's residences.


- Operation grants were increased to a basic $4.50 per classroom

- High Schools received the basic plus $1.50 per room.

- By the late 50's there was a "General Formula" used to combine the grants for operation, attendance, conveyance and equalization for larger schools and school units.

- The formula to derive an equivalent assessment per teacher is:

(Rural Assessment + 125% urban Assessment + Derived Assessment from non-residence fee)/(Elemtary rm. (1 teacher) + Continuation and High School room (1 teacher) + Actual conversion payments and payments in lieu of conveyance/$3,600)

- The measure of financial need is determined by assessing a cost of $3,600 per year to each elementary teacher and $5,000 to each high school teacher plus actual costs of conveyance and related service.


- The "general formula" was used up to and including 1969.

The following is a detailed description of each of the items included in the formula as it existed in 1969)

(Rural Assessment + Urban Assessment at 125% + Derived Assessment) / (Elementary rooms + Continuation & High School Rooms + Conveyance costs/$3800 + Tuition pupils/25)

Rural Assessment - Total equalized rural assessment of the unit or urban municipality

Urban Assessment - Total equalized urban assessment of unit or urban municipality multiplied by 125%.

Derived Assessment - The derived assessment on account of non-resident fees is to be calculated from the equation:

(Fee Revenue X 100)/1969 Mill Rate

Elementary rooms - obvious

Continuation and High School rooms - obvious

Conveyance Costs - to be determined as follows (applicable in school units only):

(Daily Mileage of Bus Routes X $35.00) + (No. of pupils conveyed daily X $63.00)

Tuition Pupils - number of pupils attending school outside the unit and on behalf of whom tuition fees are paid. (applicable in school units only).

Equivalent Assessment per Teacher - will determine a percentage factor which is to be applied to the approved or assigned program to arrive at the amount of the grant.

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