Recently released school division annual reports show that, even before the Sask. Party’s most recent heartless budget, Sask. Party cuts to education had already resulted in more than $23 million being cut from the funding that went directly into teaching children in Saskatchewan classrooms last year.
“Despite the Sask. Party’s claims, their cuts are hitting our kids’ classrooms. It’s right there in black and white; the money available for instruction – teaching our kids – has been cut,” said Education Critic Carla Beck. “On top of the $23 million in instruction that was cut last year, the Sask. Party used their heartless budget to cut another $55 million from education this year. The Sask. Party mismanaged the finances but it’s our kids who are paying the price.”
The $55 million in government funding cut in the 2017-2018 Sask. Party budget only adds to the deep education cuts that have come in years before. Earlier this year, it was revealed that there are already 188 fewer teachers in Saskatchewan classrooms this year, even though there are 4500 more students. It was also recently announced that Saskatoon Public School Division had to eliminate 29 educational assistant positions and Chinook School division sent out a memo this month looking to make cuts as a result of being left with 55 unfunded teaching positions.
The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association are speaking out and calling on the Sask. Party to commit to no further funding cuts in the 2018-19 budget and to restore funding to adequate levels.
“The Sask. Party’s cuts have brought education in Saskatchewan to a crisis point. It was the Sask. Party’s mismanagement, scandal and waste that led us here and it’s not fair to make our kids pay the price,” Beck said. “The government needs to recognize the damage they’ve already done and commit to ending these damaging cuts and reinvest in our classrooms.”