News Manitoba

More $ to help keep kids in school

A new $1.2-million Learning to Age 18 Co-ordinator Grant will assist school divisions with programming aimed at keeping kids in school, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.

"In our modern economy, students need the skills and qualifications to pursue post-secondary education and training that will allow them to participate in the work force," said Allan. "The Learning to 18 Co-ordinators Grant will provide supports to enhance programming for kids who are at risk of dropping out of school and will provide support for employment and development of life skills."

The Learning to Age 18 Co-ordinators Grant will be available to school divisions in 2012-13 to support existing and new programs that aim to keep students connected to school even when they are not in regular attendance, said Allan.

The new funding can also be used to support the teacher who will serve as a Learning to Age 18 coordinator to help school staff put together alternative learning plans for students who are not attending school, and to monitor and evaluate their progress.

"The key to keeping students engaged is to help every student find the path to success that works for them, whether that is through the traditional classroom, alternative programming, apprenticeships or in a technical-vocational setting," said Allan. The minister noted that Manitoba's graduation rate has increased to 82.7 per cent in 2010 from 72.4 per cent in June 2001.

The Learning to Age 18 Co-ordinators Grant provides further support for the Preparing Students for Success Act, passed in June 2011, which requires young people to continue pursuing their education until they graduate or turn 18. In addition, the province allocated $500,000 in 2011-12 to support school divisions in developing innovative projects to address local issues related to attendance.