Schools in the public system saw a 0.7% increase in funding while QIS received 25%
REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Education Critic Matt Love responded to a heavily redacted copy of the report of the government administrators’ investigation into three Qualified Independent Schools (QIS). The report obtained through a freedom of information request shows that administrators discovered significant issues related to finances and curriculum.
“The Sask. Party was misleading about the oversight of these independent schools from the outset. These reports clearly bear that out,” said Beck. “It’s unbelievably frustrating that our public, Catholic and conseil scolaire schools are being cut to the bone while these three independent schools facing allegations of abuse and discrimination continue to see massive funding increases.”
In August 2022, allegations of abuse arose from three QIS. The Sask. Party government was slow to respond and it was later revealed that allegations of abuse had been brought to the Ministry of Education at least as far back as 2016. These revelations led the Ministry of Education to appoint administrators to investigate and oversee Legacy Christian Academy, Grace Christian School and Regent Christian Academy.
Unredacted sections of the administrators' report suggest that one school openly discriminated against students with disabilities in the admissions process. Other entries suggest that another school amassed a considerable surplus of taxpayer dollars at the same time that schools in our public, Catholic, and conseil scolaire systems have been drawing down reserves.
“When a school receives public dollars, they should have to follow the same curriculum and financial reporting procedures as our publicly funded schools,” said Love. “Instead, the Sask. Party created two different sets of rules for independent and public schools and that lack of oversight had very real and devastating consequences. This is a government that is choosing to starve the public system of funding while increasing funding to independent schools exponentially.”
Last year, the Sask. Party government approved $9,420,000 for qualified independent schools. This year, days after the budget, they increased QIS funding by 25% to $11,777,000 via order in council. The SSBA says that the budget increase for public and Catholic schools was 0.7%.