For two decades, Local Education Agreements (LEAs) between First Nations and provincial school boards have been part of the educational landscape for many First Nations who purchase educational services for their students
See the new draft LEA Toolkit, sample LEA and workshop offerings here
What is an LEA?
An LEA is an agreement between one or more First Nations and a provincial school board, or independent or private school, for the purchase of educational services by the First Nation(s) for its status Indian students ordinarily resident on reserve but attending schools off reserve. An LEA defines the relationship between the two administrations, areas of mutual responsibility and agreed upon schedule for payment for the purchase of education programs and services by the First Nation(s).
Enabled by S. 86 (3) of the B.C. School Act, LEAs are intended to give First Nations a stronger voice in the education of their children and improve educational outcomes for First Nations learners.
Building Better LEAs
First Nations representatives have highlighted that there are challenges with LEAs that need to be addressed. For example, many more LEAs are needed, and all LEAs need to be well-designed and well-implemented to ensure accountability and lead to improved student education results.
FNESC has worked to build the capacity of First Nations communities to design effective LEAs in several ways, including establishing an LEA subcommittee in 2007 to guide work in this area, publishing an LEA handbook with templates and key recommendations in 2009, and delivering community LEA workshops since 2010.