01/29/2015 08:17 EST | Updated 03/31/2015 05:59 EDT

Manitoba to spend more money on improving test scores for students

WINNIPEG - A chunk of money in this year’s Manitoba Education budget will be dedicated to improving student test scores in math and reading.

Last year, the Council of Ministers of Education ranked Manitoba Grade 8 students last in the country in math and reading.

Education Minister Peter Bjornson says $13 million of this year’s $1.3 billion budget will be directed at getting those scores up.

He says the province is investing in quality, supports and providing more resources as needed.

Paul Olson, president of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, says right now it’s unclear how much impact those funds will make.

Bjornson says the money would be used for things such as teacher training and curriculum materials, but didn’t provide a breakdown.

Manitoba Education is working out a plan with school divisions about how they will track and report improvements in math and reading skills – things like whether there will be more standardized testing and whether they break down the numbers by school or school division.