The province said it will increase the funding for education in Manitoba for the 2021-22 school year.

Education Minister Cliff Cullen made the announcement on Friday, saying Manitoba will increase the Funding of Schools Program by $20.8 million, bringing the total program funding to $1.35 billion.

A news release from the province said the funding includes a $6.7 million increase to base funding for public schools, $5.5 million for special needs funding for school divisions and other grants.

Cullen said the investment is a record high for Manitoba education.

“Our government is committed to ensuring that school divisions would not see a reduction in their funding if their enrolment changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “Our government continues to support Manitobans during this challenging time.”

Cullen added school divisions will freeze their education property taxes and the province will provide a property tax offset grant that is equal to a two per cent property tax increase or $22.8 million.

“We’ve asked the school boards to freeze over the last couple of years at the two per cent level,” he said. “This year, we’re asking them to freeze it at zero per cent, so in lieu of that, the Province of Manitoba will be picking up the tab, they will be paying the two per cent component direct to the school boards.”

Cullen was also asked about the province’s review of Kindergarten to Grade 12. He said the review is now complete.

He would not say when the report would be released publicly, but said it would be coming “soon.”