Nothing to see in Sask. Party school board deal … except the fine print

REGINA – The Sask. Party walked further away from bargaining in good faith with Saskatchewan teachers today. The fine print of a new side-deal the Sask. Party has pushed through with cash-strapped school boards shows that the government has no commitment to future funding.

The ball is in Premier Scott Moe’s court. If he’s serious about ending this job action, he would bring this deal back to the table and get an agreement in writing,” said Saskatchewan NDP Education Critic Matt Love. “For the government to stand up today, after years of cutting schoolboard budgets and eroding local decision making and pretend this deal means anything at all is both preposterous and dishonest.”

The so-called funding agreement released today between the Ministry of Education and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) includes supposed Sask. Party funding promises for the next four years. The “commitments” however are explicitly “subject to appropriation” (i.e., the provincial budget set by the government). The fine print further specifies that “any budgetary increases are to be considered in future budget cycles.” And some of the funding has already been previously announced. 

“Scott Moe and his Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill have already proven they’re completely out of touch with what is needed in our kids’ classrooms across Saskatchewan, but the arrogance of pretending to make commitments that are explicitly not worth the paper they’re written on is possibly a new low,” said Love. “It’s absolutely disgraceful the way the Sask. Party has undervalued our kids’ teachers, underfunded their classrooms, and ignored local voices in education.”

In 2009, the Sask. Party removed the ability for local school boards to control their own budgets by setting their mill rates, and in 2017, they further undermined local autonomy with deeper cuts and more restrictions on school board decision making.


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