Picture emerging from NDP education survey points to deepening crisis in classrooms

To mark the end of the school year and report on the first three weeks of the NDP’s Brighter Futures Education Survey, NDP Education Critic Carla Beck was joined by Sarah Cummings Truszkowski, a Regina parent and former educator, in front of École Connaught community school in Regina to discuss the state of Saskatchewan schools and the declining supports for Saskatchewan students.

“I have three children at Connaught. It is a brand new, beautiful, state-of-the-art school that was built with cool spaces for music, science, technology, and the arts, but unfortunately these spaces have become unavailable because of overcrowding, and the school yard will soon be full of portables,” said Cummings Truszkowski, a parent who filled out the survey and agreed to share her story publicly. “My children are not getting the best experience possible because the government has failed to provide stable, adequate, predictable funding to school boards.”

“We launched this survey because educators, parents and administrators were beginning to raise the alarm about a crisis in our classrooms while the Education Minister kept saying everything was just fine,” NDP Education Carla Beck said. “Based on the results we’ve seen so far, describing the situation as a crisis is not an exaggeration.”

“It’s so important that we hear voices like Sarah’s so we can move forward with education that works for students, teachers and parents,” Beck said. “We hope that the stories shared in this survey, coupled with the news that several school divisions are now reporting that they will have to dip into their reserves or cut staff, will galvanize the public to push for stable, adequate, predictable funding for our schools.”

Over one thousand people have filled out the survey so far, which will run until September. About forty percent of respondents so far are teachers and twenty percent are parents, with members of the public, staff, administrators and Educational Assistants making up the rest. 

A few clear themes and calls to action have emerged from the survey results so far, including participants’ desire that the government adequately fund education, listen to and act on input from teachers and staff, and address a decline in supports in the classroom.

“Going in, we knew there would be some glaring issues, but from the responses we’ve seen so far, the situation in our classrooms is even worse than I thought,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck. “Premier Moe is failing students, teachers and parents by not ensuring sufficient, predictable funding, by breaking his promise to add 400 EAs, and by failing to even track how many students are in our largest classrooms.”

The survey can be found here: www.ndpcaucus.sk.ca/brighter_future

The NDP caucus plans to present a summary of the final results in September. No identifying information shared by individuals in the survey will be published without the participant’s consent.