Social Impact Bond Will Improve Graduation Rates for Mother Teresa Middle School Students
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Social Impact Bond Will Improve Graduation Rates for Mother Teresa Middle School Students

September 15, 2016   |   ShareThis

Today Deputy Premier and Education Minister Don Morgan, in partnership with The Mosaic Company Foundation and Mother Teresa Middle School (MTMS), announced details of the province’s second Social Impact Bond, designed to improve school performance and graduation rates for children from economically disadvantaged homes.

The Mosaic Company Foundation will provide $1 million over the next five years to MTMS in Regina, which in turn will use the funding to provide support for approximately 88 students in the Grades 6-8 middle school and once they enter high school.

“I’ve been to this school and I’ve seen the impact it has had on the lives of these children,” Morgan said. “This new Social Impact Bond is helping to make sure young people in Saskatchewan, many of whom have overcome immense challenges within their families, have every opportunity to succeed in life.”

Social Impact Bonds are not bonds in the traditional sense. Investors are repaid, based on the level of success that the organization receiving the funding is able to achieve. In the case of MTMS, if the school achieves an 82 per cent Grade 12 graduation rate for its students the Government of Saskatchewan will repay Mosaic the principal and interest equal to 1.3 per cent annually. With a 75 per cent graduation rate, three-quarters of the principal is repaid, without interest. Below 75 per cent, no repayment is made. The Ministry of Education will track progress annually.

“For Mosaic, this is an innovative way to support organizations that are doing impactful work in Saskatchewan,” Mosaic’s Senior Vice President of Potash, Bruce Bodine said. “This collaborative approach to tackling complex social issues is new to us and the opportunities it brings are endless. The support Mother Teresa Middle School provides economically disadvantaged students is unparalleled. Our investment demonstrates our belief in the school and the current and future students of Mother Teresa Middle School.”

This agreement can potentially save taxpayers up to $1.7 million. These savings are based on projections of reduced costs of economic, health, and social services over five years and increased earning potential for these students over their lifetimes.

MTMS is located in Regina’s north-central neighbourhood. It has been in operation since 2011, providing classes in Grades 6 to 8 to students whose probability of success has been compromised by social and economic factors. Approximately 70 per cent of students involved in the Social Impact Bond are First Nations or Métis.

On average, only about 48 per cent of students with similar demographics to MTMS students graduate on time, so the performance goals set by the Social Impact Bond represent a significantly improved graduation rate.

“My experiences at MTMS taught me the importance of education and engaged me in my learning, as well as put me into a positive atmosphere surrounded by people that wanted me to succeed,” Grade 11 student Draydin Cyr said. “Mother Teresa Middle School sent me on a path to success. As I look toward the future, I am filled with hope because I know I will graduate from high school and go to university.”

MTMS was founded in 2011 by Paul J. Hill with the support of partners Harvard Developments Inc., The Regina Catholic School Board, Campion College, and English Canadian Jesuits.

“Mother Teresa Middle School is thankful to Mosaic and the Government of Saskatchewan for making a very important and innovative investment by way of a Social Impact Bond,” Hill said. “This investment will impact the lives of vulnerable students by providing life-changing education and opportunities that will define their future.”

“I want to thank Mother Teresa Middle School and the Mosaic Company Foundation for taking on this initiative to greatly improve the lives of these children,” Morgan said.

Saskatchewan’s first Social Impact Bond was announced for the Sweet Dreams Project in Saskatoon in May of 2014. The Sweet Dreams project gives single mothers with children under eight years old support to complete their education and participate in pre-employment training, life skills classes and parenting support.