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Grants to Canada Nonprofits, For-Profits, Schools, First Nations,
and Agencies to Serve Students with Learning Disabilities

High-Cost Special Education Program

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Government of Canada - Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)

Deadline Date:

05/15/22 11:59 PM EST


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Grants to Canada nonprofit and for-profit organizations, education institutions, First Nations, and agencies to provide services for students with learning disabilities. Funding may be used for resource services, assessments, therapies, personnel, and adaptive materials.

The objective of the High-Cost Special Education Program is to improve the educational achievement levels of First Nations students on reserve. The program provides access to quality and culturally-sensitive special education programs and services to:

  • Enable students with moderate to profound high-cost special education needs to achieve their fullest potential
  • Increase the number of special needs students acquiring a high school diploma or a certificate of completion

In keeping with the trend among provincial education systems, High-Cost Special Education Program funding supports both direct and indirect services. This approach maintains the requirement for formal assessments of students and the development of IEPs. It allows First Nations schools the flexibility to employ intervention strategies more quickly. Activities funded under the program include:

  • Activities that support the identification of students with high-cost special education needs
  • Preparing enhanced IEPs or learning plans for identified students
  • Implementing the services required by the students

The High-Cost Special Education Program consists of direct and indirect services. Direct services represent at least 75% of the available funding. These include a number of classroom and school-based services related to the education and support of students with high-cost special education needs. Examples include:

Costs associated with the:

  • Acquisition of professional assessments
  • Completion of student assessments
  • Educational psychological, speech and language services
  • Counseling and social services
  • Elder, mentoring and cultural services
  • Occupational therapy and physical therapy services
  • Instructional and resource materials
  • Assistive technologies and equipment purchases

Salaries and benefits for:

  • Special education teachers
  • Individual teacher aides and para-professional workers

Indirect services represent up to 25% of total High-Cost Special Education Program funding. Funding is provided to eligible First Nations recipients for the development of special education programs and services on the understanding that each First Nations student with special education needs is unique. Each student requires a customized program to meet their individual needs in order to best support their success. Examples include:

  • Professional development and training for teachers and teachers' aides
  • Information services for parents
  • Costs associated with:
    • Lodging
    • Transportation
    • Accommodations involving changes in how a student accesses information and demonstrated learning, which can include changes in the method of instruction, curriculum and the environment

For additional information on eligible expenditures, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 185710

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum amount payable per student per year will not exceed $155,000 and will depend on availability of funding and on high-cost special education needs defined in each student IEP.

Term of Contract:

Recipients may retain unexpended funding from a fiscal year to expend in the 1 year period immediately following the fiscal year for which it was provided, on eligible activities and expenditures.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Band councils, federal schools, provincial ministries of education, provincial school boards or districts, private education institutions and organizations designated by band councils may apply.

Eligible recipients of the HCSEP funding are service providers such as:
- First Nations and First Nations organizations including those in Yukon or in the Northwest Territories
- First Nations-mandated organizations designated by First Nations as service providers including: not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, private education institutions and organizations designated to deliver childhood education programming to eligible students ordinarily living on reserve
- Provincial ministries of education
- Provincial school board or school board-like entity
- Federal schools
- Funding agreement managers and recipient appointed advisors, in accordance with ISC Default Prevention and Management Policy
- Not-for-profit and for-profit organizations

For-profit organizations, such as academic institutions, may be eligible for funding provided that the nature and intent of the activity:
- Is non-commercial
- Is not intended to generate profit
- Supports program priorities and objectives
- Will be publically available at no cost

Eligible recipients who can only provide indirect special education services are only eligible to receive funding to deliver those indirect services.

For information on eligible participants (students) see:

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:
- Services for special education students whose needs are mild to moderate: these needs are expected to be addressed by ISC's Elementary and Secondary Education Program
- Enhanced programs and services for gifted students or enriched, subject-specific programming for students streamed into, for example, drama and the arts
- Expenditures for constructing, operating and maintaining facilities or purchasing vehicles: they are provided through ISC's Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program and cannot be charged to the HCSEP budget allocation
- Duplication of federal funding for a given activity, such as receipt of funding from more than one federal source for the same activity

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to submit a proposal is May 15, 2022 at 11:59 pm Eastern time.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

First Nations organizations in British Columbia must apply through the First Nations Education Steering Committee:

For more information on submitting a request, please contact ISC by email at or by telephone at 1-800-567-9604 and ask to speak to an education officer.

Regional offices contact information:

Education Branch
Indigenous Services Canada
10 rue Wellington
Gatineau QC K1A 0H4

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

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Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

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