School Division numbers show 23 percent more English as an Additional Language (EAL) students in our major centres and seven percent fewer EAL teachers in the province over the past few years — just one example of how this government’s underfunding of education has hurt students and strained classrooms, says Saskatchewan NDP Deputy Leader Carla Beck. Beck called on Premier Moe to live up to his leadership promise that he would not balance the budget “on the backs of our students, our elderly, our sick, or our most vulnerable.”
“Moe’s past pledge directly contradicts his government’s entire approach, and he’s shown no sign of changing course” said Beck. “Trying to balance the books on the backs of kids and future generations is exactly what his government is ‘on track’ to do this year. And it’s precisely the wrong approach: their cuts and underfunding hurt kids and families today and cost us so much more down the road.”
Despite the growing number of kids with complex needs in our schools, the Sask. Party government has made significant cuts in the classroom, cutting $74 million from our schools over the past two years alone. As a result, according to the government’s own statistics, there are now fewer counsellors, psychologists, and speech language pathologists supporting those kids than there were in 2014-15.
“This underfunding of our classrooms is a slow-moving crisis that hurts families across the province in a dozen different unique ways each day: kids left to struggle on their own, missed days of school, stressed out parents, and overworked teachers” said Beck. “It’s not rocket science: they manufactured this crisis with their cuts, they need to admit their mistake and invest in Saskatchewan kids.”