K-12 Funding - General

Date came into force or revised

Issued September 1, 2002.  In effect March 1, 2002. Revised January 2014



Policy statement

Funding is provided to Boards of Education for the operation and provision of public education programs and courses in British Columbia.

Rationale or purpose of policy

Under the School Act (PDF), the provincial government supports the provision of public education programs to school age residents of British Columbia.


Sections 82, 106.3, 106.4, and 114 of the School Act (PDF).

Policy in full

Definition - "School age student:" A student between the age of 5 by December 31 of the current calendar year and 19 on or after July 1 of the current school year.

Definition - "Kindergarten students:" Beginning in 2011/12, all Kindergarten students will be attending full-day and will be funded at 1.0 FTE (full-time equivalent). (see Form 1701 Instructions for additional information)

Definition - "Elementary students in Grades 1 to 7:" Students in these grades are funded as 1.0 FTE per school year.

Definition - "School age secondary students in Grades 8 to 9 FTE:" FTE is determined by applying a 0.5 FTE base (for non-graduated students only) plus 0.125 FTE for every eligible full credit course (four credits) to a maximum of 1.0 FTE per school year. For students enrolled in Online Learning refer to the Online Learning Policy additionally for those Grade 8 and 9 students cross enrolled with at least one of their education programs delivered, in whole or in part, through Online Learning refer to the Online Learning Policy and Form 1701.

Definition - "Secondary students in Grades 10 to 12 FTE:" Calculated based on each eligible full course (four credits) funded as 0.125 FTE (see Form 1701 Instructions for exceptions). For students enrolled in Online Learning or Alternate schools, refer to the Online Learning Policy and the Alternate Education School Program Policy. For adult students refer to the Adult Funding Policy.

Definition - "School year:" the period from July 1 to June 30.

Public school funding is allocated using a largely student-based funding system, with the majority of funding allocated on a per FTE basis.  Supplemental grants are provided to Boards of Education to address the variable costs associated with declining enrolment, special needs, English Language Learning, Indigenous Education, educator salaries, transportation, and unique geographic factors.

This policy describes the way all students are funded under this system. More details regarding the additional funds provided for students can be found through the following links: Special Needs Funding, English Language Learning (ELL) Funding, Indigenous Education Funding, Adult Funding, Online Learning Policy. Information regarding the supplemental grants can be found in the Operating Grants Manual.

Students under the age of 16 must attend school but have the option of enrolling in public schools, independent schools, Online Learning or registering as a home-schooled learner.

Boards of Education receive operating grants from the Ministry of Education and Child Care as calculated through the Funding Allocation System.

To be eligible for provincial funding, Boards of Education must ensure that students are:

  • ordinarily resident in BC (and where applicable for school-age students) with their parent/legal guardian
  • enrolled in the district
  • under the supervision of, assessed and evaluated by an employee of the Board of Education who is certified by the Teacher Regulation Branch
  • provided the requirements for an educational program set out in the following Ministerial Orders:

Capital funding is provided through a separate grant. See the Capital Management website for details.

Partial or shorter courses (e.g., 2 credit courses) are prorated when calculating the FTE for secondary students.

Courses that are challenged are funded at 1/32 of the Basic Allocation per FTE amount.

Courses taken in BC outside of the public school system (through colleges, post-secondary institutions, private organizations, etc.) are not funded unless permission and support is arranged through the Board of Education, and the course is taken for credit towards grade 12 graduation.

School age students working towards their grade 12 graduation will be funded until the end of the school year in which they reach the age of 19.

Students who have not received the grade 12 graduation certificate by age 19 may be eligible for funding as an adult student, and only for courses leading to graduation. Please refer to the Adult Funding Policy for details.


Estimates of each Board of Education's operating grant for the coming school year are announced on or before March 15 prior to the start of the school year.

Students registered and in attendance in a public school, or in the case of students learning from home, registered and actively participating in an education program on September 30 of the school year must be reported on the Form 1701 (Form 1701 Instructions)

Operating grants are recalculated and finalized based on actual enrollments as reported on September 30. These final grants are usually announced in late autumn.