In addition to the $24 million cut to education funding, the Sask. Party failed to allocate funding for any new replacement schools in this year’s budget and have reduced transparency for Preventative Maintenance and Renewal (PMR) funding.
“Children shouldn’t have to learn in schools that are crumbling, leaking or heaving,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck. “School boards need to know if they should put a new roof on their aging schools, or if they’ll have the support they need to rebuild. There’s no predictability for boards and there’s no plan to replace the aging schools all over Saskatchewan.”
Up until 2013, the government publically posted their capital prioritization lists and as recent as last year’s budget, they posted a list of approved capital projects. But, the Sask. Party no longer shares either list and instead provides only an unordered list of ten different schools.
“This leaves school divisions in the dark about when to expect funding to replace crumbling schools like St. Pius X and Imperial Community School,” said Beck. “School divisions are saying they are forced to use the lion's share of their PMR funding to keep these crumbling schools in one piece. This diverts funding from other schools, which will also get worse as a result. We need clear answers from the Sask. Party so we can ensure our children’s safety.”