New school year brings same old problems in education: NDP

Students and teachers across Saskatchewan are heading back to school today, but because of Sask. Party cuts, many are going back to crowded and underfunded classrooms.

“The first day of school always brings new surprises, but we know that teachers are still struggling with class loads and that students will have a difficult time getting the one-on-one time they need,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck.

The Sask. Party has failed to fully restore the $54 million they cut from the education budget last year and did not allocate funding for infrastructure. The Sask. Party did, however, raise the PST, making children’s back to school clothes more expensive and raising the cost of teacher’s class materials, which many teachers pay for out of their own pocket.

“Without the full funding, teachers are going into the school year without enough educational assistants and support staff. The lesson is clear: forcing teachers to do more with less hurts students,” Beck said.

Meanwhile, university students entering the school year will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets to pay for tuition as universities are having to compensate from a cut in funding from the Sask. Party. The U of R is even reporting that they have had to lay off staff.

“It’s absolutely shameful that the Sask. Party is sticking Saskatchewan students with the cost of their mismanagement,” said NDP Advanced Education Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “High tuition should never be a barrier to higher education, but that’s the reality for so many throughout the province. Students represent the future of our province and our economy, and we need to do better by them.”