REGINA – Collaboration with democratically, locally elected school boards is essential before any ‘transformational changes’ in education are considered, according to the Saskatchewan School Boards Association.
“We work collaboratively with all of our partners to meet the bold targets in the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth and the Education Sector Strategic Plan to improve student outcomes,” said Connie Bailey, president of the SSBA. “We are collaborating to review the funding model and we continually work hard to find efficiencies. School boards are always willing to work with the provincial government to ensure we have the best education system for our children. They are our future.”
The 28 locally elected school boards have a vital role in serving Saskatchewan’s education system. For more than 100 years, the longest lasting and most fundamental responsibility of schools boards has been to bring the voice of the public to publicly funded education. Boards of education provide families, communities and students a crucial connection to democratic decision-making in their school systems.
“The work of the SSBA and its member boards is deeply rooted in the belief that all children in Saskatchewan, regardless of where they live or their personal circumstances, must have the resources and supports they need to achieve and succeed,” Bailey said.
SSBA members have eight top priorities they will be looking to see reflected in the 2016-17 provincial budget. Those eight principles are: sufficiency, autonomy, equity, engagement, predictability, reciprocal accountability, sustainability and transparency. Last year, boards began evaluating the budget based on these principles.
“We heard from our members that better engagement to understand local priorities was a top area for improvement and that sufficient funding, including using projected enrolment numbers instead of the previous year’s numbers, is essential to meet the changing needs and growing number of students in many divisions,” Bailey said, noting that in the weeks following the budget’s release, boards will be evaluating the funding allocations based on the principles.