Today, NDP Leader Ryan Meili said the Sask. Party had failed their homework assignment and called on them to provide a real plan before schools reopen in September. Education Minister Gord Wyant has repeatedly placed the responsibility for a safe reopening of schools on school divisions that have long been underfunded by the province.
“Parents, teachers and kids are worried, and they are looking for a plan that gives them the confidence they need to return to school,” said Meili. “Instead, they got the worst plan in Canada from this Sask. Party government and a minister trying to pass the buck to school divisions that were already struggling with tough budget decisions. This government needs to take responsibility and come up with a real plan, instead one that’s failing the test and passing the buck.”
In an interview with CBC this morning, Education Minister Gord Wyant repeatedly passed the buck to school divisions, saying they had put together their own “unique operational plans.”
In the last few months, some school divisions have had to dip into their reserves to make up for budget shortfalls and deficits prior to new costs related to the re-opening.
“This government has been underfunding schools for years and COVID-19 has made clear exactly how that underfunding puts our kids at risk,” Meili said. “We know what’s needed: faster COVID-19 testing, smaller classes, dedicated funding for school divisions and clarity on things like phasing and masks. We need a real plan for a safe return to schools, and we need it now.”