REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Education Critic Matt Love criticised the Sask. Party government’s last-minute announcement of subpar emergency education funding.
“This funding is a start, though it’s months late and quite a few bucks short,” said Beck. “It’s clear from the rally that was held on the steps of the legislature that this is a major issue for both parents and educators. Everyone’s family is impacted by these cuts in different ways and it’s frustrating knowing that this all could have been prevented had the government just properly invested in our kids.”
The provincial government's funding cuts are forcing parents to pay expensive lunchroom supervision fees at a time when Saskatchewan people report the highest levels of financial insecurity in Canada. School divisions are also being hit with inflationary pressures and are being forced to consider axing essential positions, cutting back on school maintenance and eliminating programs like full-day kindergarten.
Teachers and school boards say that yesterday’s announced funding, while needed, is not nearly enough to cover anticipated deficits. Saskatchewan used to lead the nation in per-student funding, but under Premier Moe, the province has dropped to eighth place.
“It’s been a while since a provincial budget was so bad that emergency funding was announced just three weeks later,” said Love, “Positions are being cut. Parents are panicking over lunchroom fees they can’t afford. And school divisions need extensions on their budgets because the Sask. Party dealt them a horrible hand. It’s a complete mess.”