The 2018 BC Tripartite Education Agreement (BCTEA) includes a new commitment by BC, Canada and FNESC to an innovative approach to ensuring adequate and appropriate transportation services for First Nations students who attend public schools. BCTEA introduces new tools such as Joint Transportation Plans and the targeting of transportation funding to ensure that First Nations students receive the transportation services they need.

Joint First Nation Student Transportation Plans

Through BCTEA, Boards of Education and First Nations are required to work together to develop Joint First Nation Student Transportation Plans for First Nation students living on-reserve who attend BC public schools. The Plans are to include strategies to address various modes of transportation, such as walking, driving, bussing, ferry or water taxi, depending on local needs, as well as transportation to extracurricular activities.

To support First Nations and Boards of Education, a set of documents and templates were distributed by email to School Boards and First Nations in early February.

To provide further support to First Nations and school districts in the process of developing their Joint Transportation Plans, the Parties have compiled and answered the questions raised in the following document: BCTEA Joint First Nations Student Transportation Plans Q&A.

Information will be forthcoming specific to transportation plans for First Nations under Treaty/Self-government Agreements.

Signed Joint Transportation Plans are due by April 5, 2019 (new date) to educ.srsd@gov.bc.ca.

First Nation Student Transportation Fund

Beginning in the 2019/20 school year, a First Nation Student Transportation Fund will support the transportation of First Nations students to public schools. This funding will flow from Canada to BC, and BC will then allocate the fund to school districts by way of a special purpose grant.

This is not new funding; rather, it is existing funding that will now be targeted to ensure it is only used to address the transportation needs of First Nations students attending BC public schools. According to BCTEA Schedule G (2.2), the base amount for the First Nation Student Transportation Fund for the 2019/20 School Year will be equivalent to the amount of the Student Location Factor that Canada pays to BC in the Operating Grant Manual in the 2018/19 School Year, paid by Canada for First Nation Students. Consistent with Schedule G (3.6), other transportation- related factors that Canada pays to BC will be included (e.g., Transportation Supplement).

A Tripartite Transportation Committee will be assessing the Joint Transportation Plans and School Boards will be required to report on the spending through audited financial statements. FNESC is a member of the Tripartite Committee.

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Related Events

The following events will include opportunities for further discussion and information about the transportation strategy and implementation process: 

Accountability Strategy Sessions to Support First Nation Students for invited First Nations without Local Education Agreements.  Nanaimo (Mar. 11), Vancouver (Mar. 12), Terrace (Mar. 15), Prince George (Apr. 8) Kamloops (Apr. 15).

Provincial Meeting on LEAs and Transportation for invited First Nations with LEAs.  Vancouver, Apr. 5, 2019.

Invitations to these events have been sent to eligible First Nations. For more information please contact Estefania Solis, Administrative Assistant, Communications and Policy at estefanias@fnesc.ca