REGINA - In light of Minister of Education Dustin Duncan’s admission last night in committee that the usable school division funding in the 2022 budget is much measlier than previously advertised, Official Opposition Critic for Education Matt Love called on the government to increase school funding to match new inflationary costs.
“We know mental health is a problem in our schools. We know many students are behind in their learning. And we know these issues won’t be fixed with another austerity budget,” Love said. “This government needs to stop massaging the numbers and listen to the very real concerns of school divisions.”
The Ministry’s school division funding plan boasts an investment of just over $29M, with many divisions receiving far less than the advertised 1.5% increase. Pressed last night at committee, Minister Duncan admitted his Ministry estimates $4.9M of the $6M remaining operating funding will be required to cover divisions’ remaining collective bargaining agreements this fiscal year, leaving a paltry $1.1M to help divisions cover all other operating increases.
“Teachers and parents are rightly frustrated,” Love said. “It’s totally unclear how school divisions can be expected to cover inflation, fuel costs, and literally everything else with a million dollars split 27 ways. If we factor in the rising costs associated with inflation, this budget is not an investment in our schools. It's a cut.”
The Official Opposition calls on the Sask. Party to make funding reflective of the challenges facing school divisions and students.