Saskatchewan School Boards Association Happy with Mid-Year Funding Adjustment
November 26, 2012
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association expressed its support for the $6.6 million mid-year funding adjustment to eight school divisions announced by Education Minister Russ Marchuk today.
“The SSBA has been pressing the government on this issue over the past two years. As recently as last Friday, the Association had written to the Minister to request funding adjustments for those school divisions experiencing unprecedented growth. This position was firmly supported by all school divisions at the recent Annual General Meeting of the SSBA,” said Association President Janet Foord.
“We are pleased that the government is listening to the voice of locally-elected school boards across Saskatchewan. In terms of providing operating funding to ensure the growing number of students receive the best educational opportunities, and allocating capital dollars to provide safe and healthy learning environments for children and youth, we believe this is a step in the right direction,” Foord said.
The SSBA is also pleased that going forward the government will adjust its funding formula to reflect school divisions’ current year enrolments rather than the previous year’s enrolments.
“Saskatchewan’s growth comes with great opportunities – and challenges,” Foord said. “Education is key to this province’s continued prosperity. School boards look forward to working with the provincial government to ensure student success contributes to the growth agenda.”
For more information contact:
President, Saskatchewan School Boards Association
Tel: (306) 569-0750
SSBA Executive unveils exciting plans for 2013-2014 school year and beyond
November 16, 2012
The 97th annual convention of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association saw the election of a new executive with a bold and ambitious plan for improved student achievement in Saskatchewan. The Association executive represents every area of the province and includes all public, catholic and francophone school divisions in the province.
Below are the members of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association Executive:
- President: Janet Foord, South East Cornerstone Public Board of Education
- Vice-President: Connie Bailey, Sun West Board of Education
- Catholic Constituency: Glen Gantefoer, Light of Christ Catholic Board of Education
- Conseil scolaire fransaskois: Élizabeth Perreault
- Northern Constituency: Joe Daigneault, Northern Lights Board of Education
- Southern Constituency: Janet Kotylak, Prairie Valley Board of Education
- Aboriginal Constituency: Duane Favel, Ile-a-la Crosse Board of Education
- Urban Public Constituency: Kevin Waugh, Saskatoon Public Board of Education
- Central Constituency: Ronna Pethick, Living Sky Board of Education
A key component of the SSBA’s vision is the launch of an unprecidented business and education partnership intended to increase attendance and graduation rates for Aboriginal students under the auspices of a program in partnership with former Prime Minister Paul Martin entitled Getting Back to Business: Engaging Aboriginal Students in Entrepreneurship. This program is scheduled to be introduced in the 2013-14 school year with over 30 schools participating – a number that has not been matched to date in the rest of Canada.
Other organizations that are supporting this initiative include: Saskatchewan boards of education, Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Ministry of Education, Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, First Nations University of Canada, University of Saskatchewan – Edwards School of Business, University of Regina – Paul J. Hill School of Business, Junior Achievement Saskatchewan and KPMG.
Trustees also met in Saskatoon to discuss the implications of the residential school experience for Aboriginal Canadians and the role that school boards and educators must play in reconciling the past with respect to Aboriginal students and how we move forward to ensure success for all Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in our province.
Keynote speaker Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said, “Education will be the foundation for this nation’s healing.”
South East Cornerstone Public Board of Education Receives Premier’s Board of Education Award for Innovation and Excellence
November 16, 2012
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association is proud to announce that the South East Cornerstone Public Board of Education was selected as the recipient of the Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Award at the 97th Annual Convention of the Association, held in Saskatoon on November 12-13, 2012.
This award recognizes educational innovations and improvements focused on student achievement which have been advanced or directed by boards of education. The sponsor, Xerox Canada Ltd., provides a $3,000 prize to the recipient of the award. This financial contribution is used to support or extend the innovation or project.
The South East Cornerstone Public Board of Education’s program A Systematic Approach to Improved Student Achievement through Response to Intervention is a program designed to systematically allow South East Cornerstone Public School Division to facilitate students who require additional academic assistance through small group instruction.
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association congratulates the South East Cornerstone Public Board of Education on their vision and committed leadership in ensuring success for every student in every school,” said outgoing SSBA President, Sandi Urban-Hall.
SSBA Convention to Launch Aboriginal Education Program to ‘Change the Social Fabric of Our Nation’
November 8, 2012
Ensuring student success and the continued growth and prosperity of Saskatchewan will be the focus of the annual assembly of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, to be held on November 13 and 14 at the Radisson Hotel in Saskatoon.
“School boards, the Premier, the business community – all organizations in Saskatchewan – have said again and again that improving student achievement in Saskatchewan – particularly the achievement of Aboriginal students – is absolutely essential for the future of this province,” said Sandi Urban-Hall, President of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association.
To that end, at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 13, the SSBA President will announce two major initiatives intended to improve student success and eliminate the achievement gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in Saskatchewan.
“School boards across Saskatchewan have a vision,” said Urban-Hall. “That vision is that by 2025, all Saskatchewan students will achieve at the highest levels locally, provincially, nationally and internationally – including our most vulnerable students.”
As a first step to realizing this vision, the Saskatchewan School Boards Association will unveil a provincial program aimed at increasing Aboriginal graduation rates across our province.
The SSBA has partnered with former Prime Minister Paul Martin and his Aboriginal Education Initiative to launch the Getting Back to Business: Engaging Aboriginal Youth in Entrepreneurship program in more than 30 Saskatchewan schools.
The program, with proven results in Saskatchewan and across Canada, has received the support of other important partners including Saskatchewan boards of education, the Minister of Education, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, Junior Achievement of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, the Edwards School of Business (U of S), the Paul J. Hill School of Business (U of R), KPMG Chartered Accountants and the First Nations University of Canada.
“This is an unprecedented education and business partnership that is committed to achieving concrete outcomes for Aboriginal students,” Urban-Hall said. “We invite the media and all interested to come to our Convention to learn about this exciting initiative which former Prime Minister Martin said “could change the social fabric of our nation.”
Also on the agenda for the annual assembly is a keynote address by retired Major-General Lewis MacKenzie (8:40 a.m. on Wednesday, November 14) and the address by the Hon. Russ Marchuk, Minister of Education (Wednesday, November 14 at 1:30 p.m.).
School Boards Association Supports Premier’s Vision
October 17, 2012
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association agrees with the vision for education outlined in Premier Brad Wall’s “Saskatchewan Plan for Growth”, said SSBA President Sandi Urban-Hall.
“The objectives outlined by the Premier are definitely in keeping with those of school boards across the province,” said Urban-Hall. “School boards are committed to improved achievement for all Saskatchewan students. It is our number one priority.
“School boards and the SSBA have been working hard to eliminate the achievement gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. We have a plan, and are working with our education and community partners to ensure Saskatchewan’s K-12 education system results in improved student achievement and success for Aboriginal students. Progress in these areas is absolutely critical to the province’s continued growth and prosperity.”
The SSBA acknowledged and appreciates the Premier’s recognition of the fact the province’s growth also comes with growing pains, and that the huge increase in student populations, particularly in the province’s major cities, will be addressed.
The SSBA has invited the Government of Saskatchewan on many occasions to partner with school boards to address the issues of improved student achievement and Aboriginal student success.
“These issues must be tackled with shared leadership,” maintained Urban-Hall. “We need to work together in partnership. School boards cannot overcome these important challenges alone, nor can the provincial government. I am confident though, that if we pool our energies and resources, the future will indeed be brighter for children, youth and the province of Saskatchewan.”
Education Recognized as Foundational to Province’s Growth
March 21, 2012
According to Sandi Urban-Hall, President of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, “Today’s budget demonstrated shared commitments and priorities among the government of Saskatchewan and school boards across the province.”
The overarching interest of school trustees is to ensure all students have the support they need to learn, grow and ultimately contribute to this province’s growth agenda. We are happy to see that the province agrees with this investment in the future.
In terms of the new funding model implemented with today’s budget, Urban-Hall said “Students in some areas of the province risked being disadvantaged in the new model. We appreciate the promise in today’s budget that mitigation will be provided for school divisions significantly impacted by the new model. As well, we will be talking to school divisions expecting to gain funding from this budget to monitor whether these increases occurred.”
A new capital funding approach was also announced in the budget. “We welcome the spirit of the new capital funding model and are committed to working with the province to ensure that children and youth have adequate, safe and healthy places to learn and grow. The ‘Children’s Infrastructure’ in Saskatchewan is by all accounts in desperate need of attention. We are hopeful that the model offered today will help address long standing infrastructure deficit challenges.”
We are happy to see the government’s commitment to addressing the achievement gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal students and for the support indicated for children whose first language is other than English.
Over the coming weeks, the Saskatchewan School Boards Association will be working with boards across the province to come to an understanding regarding the detailed implications of the budget at the individual school division level.
School Boards Look to Province to Keep Promises in 2012-2013 Budget
March 19, 2012
On Budget Day, March 21, school boards across Saskatchewan will be watching closely to see whether the government of Saskatchewan keeps its promises to Saskatchewan’s kindergarten to Grade 12 students.
The Premier has indicated that his government is committed to the “Growth Agenda” and improving student achievement in Saskatchewan. School boards will be looking for evidence of that commitment in this week’s provincial budget. If Saskatchewan is to continue to grow, our students must form the basis of a skilled and professional workforce. Eliminating the achievement gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students is critical and must be addressed. As stated by the Conference Board of Canada, the inclusion of the “growing and underutilized Aboriginal population” must be part of the province’s future success.
When the Sask. Party government in 2009 removed the ability of school boards to raise local revenues to support K-12 students through the property tax, students became solely reliant upon the province for their funding. School boards no longer have the option of turning to their local communities to make up for provincial operating funding shortfalls. This option now lies with the provincial government.
The Premier and Minister of Education promised school boards that the New Funding Model would provide for adequate, sustainable and predictable funding for Saskatchewan students. In short, the new model was purported to be a much better option than what had historically been in place. Boards will be watching closely to see if these promises ring true.
Advance information provided to boards indicates that some school divisions may gain under the new funding formula and these changes should be implemented immediately. However, students in other divisions may be hit hard under the new funding regime. Some school divisions could see their operating revenue decline by as much as 10 percent. It is only logical to assume that a decline of this magnitude would impact students. The Saskatchewan School Boards Association will be looking for assurances that the effects of any severe reductions will be mitigated and that student achievement and well being will not suffer as a result of the government’s decision to change the existing funding formula.
It is important that education funding not only be sufficient, but equitably distributed so that all students can achieve at the highest levels, regardless of where they live in the province and their personal circumstances. As well, school divisions must not be disadvantaged in this new funding model as a result of rapidly increasing enrolments. Education funding is not about what school boards need. It is about what students need to succeed in the world of the 21st Century and support and contribute to the growth of this province.
Saskatchewan School Boards Association President Sandi Urban-Hall will be available in the Legislature’s rotunda to speak to the media following the delivery of the budget on March 21.