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Summary Public School Indicators for the Provinces and Territories, 2000/2001 to 2006/2007
by Riley Brockington
Over 5.16 million students were enrolled in public schools in the academic year 2006/2007, a 3.5% decrease from 2000/2001. This continued a downward trend which has seen declines every year since 2002/2003.
Alberta and Nunavut were the only two jurisdictions that experienced enrolment increases since 2000/2001. Alberta's enrolment stood under 561,000 in 2006/2007, up 2.0% from 2000/2001. Nunavut's enrolment stood just over 9,000, up 3.6% from 2000/2001.
The only province to record an enrolment increase from 2005/2006 to 2006/2007 was Alberta, where enrolment increased 1.6%.
With the exception of Alberta, all provinces and territories experienced decreases in their enrolment levels between 2005/2006 and 2006/2007. The largest decreases occurred in the Yukon, (-4.2%), Newfoundland and Labrador, (-3.2%) and Prince Edward Island (-2.7%) (Chart 1.1 and Table A.1).
Overall, between 2000/2001 and 2006/2007, enrolment declined 17.6% in Newfoundland and Labrador, 11.6% in Saskatchewan and 11.0% in Nova Scotia. (Table A.1)
This is consistent with population estimates data that show that the population aged 5 to 17 declined by 17.3% in Newfoundland and Labrador, 10.7% in Saskatchewan and 8.2% in Nova Scotia over the corresponding period (Table A.28). The aging population, lower birth rates and continued migration to other parts of Canada are some of the main reasons for these declines.
There were slightly more males than females enrolled in Canadian public schools in 2006/2007, with 51.4% of enrolments consisting of males. This ratio remained constant over the 2000/2001 to 2006/2007 period across all provinces and territories in Canada and is also consistent with population estimates of the school-age population.
Although enrolment across Canada continued to decrease, enrolment in second-language immersion programs in public elementary and secondary schools increased steadily every year. Over 304,000 students were enrolled in a second-language immersion program in 2006/2007, up 3.1% from a year earlier and up 9.5% since 2000/2001. (Table A.5)
Over the six-year period between 2000/2001 and 2006/2007, the total number of students enrolled in second-language immersion programs increased 45.7% in Newfoundland and Labrador, 29.9% in British Columbia and 27.6% in Nova Scotia. (Table A.5, Chart 1.2)
Over 323,000 students graduated from public secondary schools in the 2006/2007 academic year. This figure represents an increase of 3.3% from 2005/2006 and 5.8% from 2000/2001.
Most provinces and territories recorded increases in the number of graduates between 2005/2006 and 2006/2007. The total number of graduates increased 7.0% in Nunavut, 6.7% in Ontario, and 4.1% in Quebec. It decreased in three jurisdictions: New Brunswick (-3.9%), British Columbia (-3.7%) and the Northwest Territories (-1.7%). (Table A.7)
Overall, during the six-year period between 2000/2001 and 2006/2007, the total number of graduates increased 13.1% in Alberta, 9.0% in Ontario and 6.0% in Nova Scotia. The three territories recorded strong gains in the number of graduates over the period 2000/2001 to 2006/2007, with increases of 69.2% in Nunavut, 24.5% in the Northwest Territories and 23.4% in the Yukon. (Table A.7)
Newfoundland and Labrador posted a 16.1% decrease in the number of graduates between 2000/2001 to 2006/2007, followed by a 6.7% decrease in New Brunswick. (Table A.7, Chart 2).
In 2006/2007, the graduation rate for publicly funded high school students stood at 71.3%, down from 73.2% in 2005/2006. (Chart 3)
There have been notable increases in the graduation rate since 2000/2001 in Nova Scotia and the three territories, and small declines in Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick. (Table A.8)
In the 2006/2007 academic year, four provinces recorded graduation rates above 80%, with Prince Edward Island peaking at 85.4%, followed by Saskatchewan at 82.8%, New Brunswick at 81.0% and Nova Scotia at 80.1%. (Table A.8)
Alberta recorded the lowest graduation rate among the provinces in 2006/2007 at 65.0%. Compared to other provinces, Alberta had the lowest graduation rate for the entire six-year period.
Nunavut's graduation rate did not exceed 30.0% during the entire six-year period. In 2006/2007, the graduation rate stood at 29.6%.
The graduation rate at the Canada level in 2006/2007 was higher for females (75.3%) than for males (67.6%). Provincial graduation rates for both females and males were highest in Prince Edward Island at (89.2% and 81.7% respectively) and lowest in Alberta (at 68.2% and 62.0%, respectively).
The largest female-male percentage-point difference in graduation rates occurred in the three territories and Newfoundland and Labrador, with a 17.6% difference in the Yukon, 16.4% in the Northwest Territories, 11.2% in Nunavut and 9.7% in Newfoundland and Labrador. The smallest difference occurred in Nova Scotia which had a 4.7% difference between the two sexes.
Despite declining enrolments across Canada, the total number of educators (full-time equivalent) has increased. In 2006/2007, there were over 329,000 educators, up 2.5% from 2005/2006 and up 4.1% from 2000/2001.
Most provinces and territories reported increases in the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) educators between 2005/2006 and 2006/2007. It increased 4.0% in Ontario, well above the national average.
Saskatchewan posted the largest provincial decline, decreasing by 0.9%, while Nunavut posted a decrease of 1.4%. (Table A.10)
Between 2000/2001 and 2006/2007, the largest increase in the number of full-time equivalent educators at the provincial level was in Alberta (10.3%) and Ontario (8.4%). During the same period, student enrolment increased 2.0% in Alberta, but decreased 1.9% in Ontario.
Between 2000/2001 and 2006/2007, the number of full-time equivalent educators fell 13.5% in Newfoundland and Labrador and 5.9% in British Columbia. (Table A.10)
In 2006/2007, 71.3% of the educators in Canadian public schools were female. This was up from 67.3% in 2000/2001. The proportion of female educators increased in every province.
Between 2000/2001 and 2006/2007, public schools in Canada both attracted young educators and retained older ones. While the total number of educators, based on headcounts, increased 8.3% during that period, the number of those aged 29 or younger increased 80.6% (32,672 in 2000/2001 to 59,001 in 2006/2007), while the number of those aged 60 almost tripled (2,823 in 2000/2001 to 10,594 in 2006/2007).
The student-educator ratio has decreased every year between 2000/2001 to 2006/2007. A decline in the student-educator ratio means fewer students per educator.
The Canada student-educator ratio in 2006/2007 was 14.7 students per educator.
With the exceptions of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the student-educator ratio decreased or remained the same in every jurisdiction in 2006/2007 from the previous year. (Table A.11)
In 2006/2007, the student-educator ratio was highest in Alberta (16.8 students/educator), British Columbia (16.6 students/educator) and the Northwest Territories (15.3 students/educator) and lowest in Yukon (10.6 students/educator), Newfoundland and Labrador (13.0 students/educator) and Quebec (13.5 students/educator). (Chart 6 and Table A.11)
Total expenditures in public elementary and secondary schools in Canada increased at almost twice the rate of inflation between 2000/2001 and 2006/2007.
Total expenditures rose to $49.6 billion in 2006/2007, up 4.5% from a year earlier and 27.9% since 2000/2001 (Table A.16). During the same six-year period, the rate of inflation rose 14.4% (Table A.33).
Between 2000/2001 and 2006/2007, total expenditures increased 39.0% in Alberta, 36.1% in Saskatchewan and 30.5% in Ontario.
Nova Scotia posted a 4.9% reduction in expenditures from 2000/2001 to 2006/2007.
Except for Alberta, total expenditures increased by more than the rate of inflation in all jurisdictions between 2005/2006 and 2006/2007. Alberta recorded an increase in total expenditures of 1.5%, compared to an inflation rate in Alberta of 3.9%. The inflation rate in Canada in 2006/2007 was 2.0%.
Note: Operating expenditures include salaries, wages and allowances, fringe benefits, teachers' pension plans and other operating expenditures. However, differences in the type of teachers' pension systems may affect the comparability between jurisdictions. In general, other expenditures include interest on debt services.
Between 2005/2006 and 2006/2007, operating expenses increased 4.0% at the Canada level. The largest increases occurred in Nunavut with expenditures rising 13.6% and Quebec, where there was a 7.8% increase. Saskatchewan posted the smallest increase at 1.2%, followed by Alberta at 1.6%. (Table A.14)
In 2006/2007, operating expenditures represented 89.8% of total education spending across Canada, while capital expenditures represented 7.7%; the remaining 2.5% consisted of other expenditures, mainly interest payments on debt services. (Chart 7 and Tables A.14, A.15 and A.16)
Between 2000/2001 to 2006/2007, the increase in operating expenditures was greatest in Alberta, at 42.1%, and smallest in Nova Scotia, at 15.9%. (Table A.14)
The year-over-year increase in capital expenditures across Canada was 11.5% from 2005/2006 to 2006/2007, reaching an all-time high of $3.8 billion. In 2006/2007, capital expenditures reached their highest levels in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the NorthWest Territories. (Table A.15)
It should be noted that unlike operating expenditures, it is common for capital expenditures to fluctuate greatly from year to year, depending on the size of investment in new construction, major renovation projects or other large capital initiatives and when this does occur, particularly in smaller jurisdictions, the percentage change from one period to another can be quite large.
The largest relative increase occurred in Prince Edward Island, where capital expenditures went from $1.5 million in 2005/2006 to $10.1 million in 2006/2007, followed by the Yukon at 41.1%. Nunavut posted the only decrease, with capital expenditures falling almost 20%.
Total expenditures per student in public elementary and secondary schools averaged $10,262 (current dollars) across Canada in 2006/2007. This was up 5.7% from one year earlier and up 33.3% from 2000/2001 (Table A.17.1). In comparison, the inflation rate in Canada over the 2000/2001 to 2006/2007 period was 14.4%.
In 2006/2007, total expenditures per student were highest in the three territories, peaking at $20,772 per student in Yukon. At the provincial level, total expenditures per student ranged from a high of $10,823 in Manitoba to a low of $8,594 in Prince Edward Island.
Since 2000/2001 the increase in total expenditures per student ranged from 56.4% in Yukon and 54.2% in Saskatchewan to 6.9% in Nova Scotia.
Note: Comparisons between jurisdictions should be made with care. Factors that influence total spending per student on education, such as the size of the school-age population, need to be taken into account.
Over the six year study period, with the exception of Nova Scotia, total expenditures per student rose at a significantly higher rate than total inflation in Canada in every jurisdiction (Table A.17.1 and A.33).
Average remuneration of educators5
Average remuneration per educator (in current dollars) rose 2.7% to $67,344 across Canada between 2005/2006 and 2006/2007. All jurisdictions posted annual increases, except Nova Scotia (down 3.5%). (Table A.12)
The largest year-over-year increases were in Nunavut where average remuneration per educator rose 21.8% to $117,281 in 2006/2007, Saskatchewan (increase of 13.2% to $66,752) and Prince Edward Island (increase of 6.3% to $62,156).
Across the provinces, average remuneration per educator varied between $73,342 in Alberta to $57,605 in Quebec in 2006/2007. Average remuneration per educator was highest in the three territories at $117,281 in Nunavut, $84,986 in the Northwest Territories, and $81,870 in the Yukon.
In 2006/2007, Quebec had the smallest gap between the average remuneration per full-time educators and full-year, full-time workers. The average remuneration for Quebec educators was $57,600, compared to $45,000 for full-year, full-time workers, a difference of $12,600. Prince Edward Island was the jurisdiction with the largest gap between the average remuneration per full-time educator ($62,200) and full-year, full-time workers ($38,000), a difference of $24,200. In all other provinces, the average remuneration of educators exceeded the income of full-year, full-time workers by more than $13,300 (Chart 9 and Table A.31).
Note: Due to differences in methodology, comparisons between jurisdictions should be made with care.
Note to readers
The data in this report were provided by provincial and territorial departments of education in accordance with definitions detailed in Appendix 2.
The data are for regular programs (for youth), adult programs and vocational programs (for youth and adults) offered by public schools in Canada.
Public schools in Canada generally represent about 93% of all students in Canada.
Reference tables are available starting at table A.27 (Table A.27 to Table A.33).
- The number of graduates is as the end of the school year, while population estimates are as of July 1 of the corresponding school year. Late graduates are included in the calculations while graduates from private schools are not. For this reason, the methodology underestimates the actual graduation rate. The graduation rate should not be used to infer a dropout rate. The four programs that comprise the graduate pool are: regular programs for youth, adult upgrading programs (GED), vocational programs for youth and vocational programs for adults.
- The graduation rate is calculated by dividing the number of graduates by the average of the 17 and 18 year-old population: Graduation rate=Graduates(High school graduates(youth and adults) and Vocational program graduates(youth and adults))/Average number of the 17 and 18 year-old population.
- The term "educator" refers to not only a teacher, but to all employees in the public school system who are required to have teaching certification as a condition of their employment. This definition generally includes principals, vice-principals and professional non-teaching staff such as education consultants, guidance counselors and religious and pastoral counselors.
- Note that the student-educator ratio is not the same as the student-teacher ratio. The student-educator ratio accounts for personnel outside of the classroom, such as principals, counselors and specialists as well as teachers' time outside of the classroom dedicated to classroom preparation and marking.
- Changes in methodology for Alberta does not allow for data comparability prior to 2004/2005, as well as for Nova Scotia, prior to 2005/2006.
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