Parents decry lack of supports after cuts to per-student funding

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Education Critic Matt Love stood with parents who visited the Legislature to rally against cuts to per-student funding and cuts to supports for kids with complex needs. 

“Our kids deserve every opportunity to thrive. That starts with a government that takes class size and complexity seriously,” said Love. “Failing to help our kids with the most complex needs creates a domino effect that impacts everyone.”

B-j Diduck is a mother of three on the ASD spectrum. One of her children attends John Dolan School in Saskatoon Public. She says that the alternative school has approximately 60 students with complex disabilities. Despite a dedicated staff team, parent community and board, she worries whether her child has everything they need to thrive. 

Saskatoon Public operates John Dolan at an annual shortfall of $2.3M. The chief financial officer of the division recently said that this funding shortfall affects other schools across the city who, because of this gap, “get a bit less supports, whether that’s in the classroom, caretaking, indirectly, transportation.”

Katie Emde, a parent from Midale, says that her son has not been able to attend school for months due to a lack of support and funding. She started a blog to advocate for her son and kids like him, amassing seven thousand followers, but decided to come to her Legislature because she feels that the government is still not listening.

The Sask. Party government has cut per-student funding for the better part of a decade, going from the highest per-student funding levels in Canada to the worst in the most recent budget.

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