Analysis: Breaking down the $384M Ministry of Education budget

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If you think ‘money talks’, then a budget document can be considered a declaration of an organisation’s priorities.

With that in mind, what does the nearly $385 million in appropriations the PACT is requesting for the Ministry of Education over the next 2 years say about the government’s goals?

In terms of overall spending, the top item in the 2-year education budget is the $74.5 million earmarked for capital projects, including the new John Gray High School project and other school expansions. This so-called ‘equity investment’ accounts for 19.4% of ministry appropriations in 2022 and 2023.

Next is funding for government primary schools ($72.0 million) and government secondary schools ($68.8 million).

Primary school funding is projected to increase by 6% from 2021 to 2022, and again by 16% from 2022 to 2023.

In terms of new or expanded budget items, the allocation for the free school meals programme is expected to grow by 140% to $7.5 million in 2022 and another 100% to $14.9 million in 2023.

The school meal programme will comprise about 6% of the government’s education spending over the next 2 years.

The government is also greatly increasing its spending on capital projects for the University College of the Cayman Islands, totaling $6.4 million in the 2-year budget.

(Note: The 451% increase in funding from 2021 to 2022 is skewed because only $600,000 of the $2 million in UCCI capital funds budgeted for 2021 are forecast to be spent.)

The government is increasing its allocation by 263% for ‘private and public school grants’, totaling $380,000 in 2021 and $1.4 million per year in 2022 and 2023.

The government is also doubling the amount of grants being given directly to private schools to $2 million per year.

Other notable increases include a 10% increase in funding for early childhood education ($9.5 million in 2022), followed by another 4% increase ($9.4 million in 2023); as well as a 9% increase in funding for special education needs services ($11.6 million in 2022), followed by another 2% increase ($11.8 million in 2023).

We have taken information from the government’s main budget document, the ‘2022 and 20223 Plan and Estimates’ and created a searchable and sortable table, containing the requested appropriations for the Ministry of Education.

Explore below:

ReferenceName2021 ($M)2022 ($M)2023 ($M)Change, 2021 to 2022Change, 2022 to 2023% of spending, 2022/2023
TOTALMinistry of Education$181.50$192.63$191.846%0%100%
EI 12Ministry of Education (Equity Investment)$42.92$45.37$29.126%-36%19%
EGA 5Primary Education Services$31.88$33.37$38.605%16%19%
EGA 6Secondary Education Services$31.60$33.49$35.326%5%18%
EGA 8Facilities Maintenance and Operational School Support Services$13.35$14.73$14.7610%0%8%
EGA 7Education Services for Students with Special Needs$10.63$11.62$11.839%2%6%
NGS 91Public School Meals Programme$3.10$7.45$14.91140%100%6%
TP 30Local and Overseas Scholarships and Bursaries$16.54$10.04$10.04-39%0%5%
EGA 10Education, Early Childhood and Support Services$8.62$9.51$9.8710%4%5%
EGA 1Policy Advice, Governance and Ministerial Support Services$6.79$6.59$7.02-3%7%4%
CCO 1Teaching of Tertiary Level, Professional and Vocational Programmes (UCCI)$6.68$6.68$6.680%0%3%
EI 46UCCI (Equity Investment)$0.60$3.28$3.16451%-4%2%
NGS 34Primary and Secondary Education by Private Schools$1.00$2.00$2.00100%0%1%
EGA 4Public Library Services$1.84$1.72$1.74-6%1%1%
TP 93Private and Public School Grants$0.38$1.36$1.36263%0%1%
TP 82Scholarships – Special Education Needs$1.27$1.27$1.270%0%1%
TP 61Student Enrichment and Support Services$0.93$0.93$0.930%0%0%
TP 83Scholarships – Medical Specialization$0.86$0.86$0.860%0%0%
OE 12UWI Membership$0.82$0.82$0.820%0%0%
TP 27Pre-School Educational Assistance$0.78$0.78$0.780%0%0%
TP 51Other Educational and Training Assistance$0.26$0.26$0.260%0%0%
NGS 25Teaching of Tertiary Education Courses (ICCI)$0.25$0.25$0.250%0%0%
TP 94Superior Auto Apprenticeship Programme$0.30$0.15$0.15-50%0%0%
NGS 79K-9 Security Services$0.05$0.05$0.050%0%0%
CDB 1Disbursement of Government Scholarship Funding$0.04$0.04$0.040%0%0%
OE 11Subscription to CXC$0.01$0.01$0.010%0%0%

PACT budget details $384M in education spending over 2 years

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