REGINA – Saskatchewan school boards believe the education system is at a critical point and funding sufficiency is of major concern for school divisions who are already planning for the 2018-19 school year.
Without restored funding and renewed investment, school boards will not have the resources needed to deal with rising student enrolment numbers, suitable classroom supports and keeping up with inflationary pressures.
“We are at the point where further cuts or funding freezes will significantly impact our classrooms and communities,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, president of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA). “There has been a trend of decreasing per-student funding in the operating budgets of school divisions. That is the wrong direction and we are falling behind our neighbouring provinces in terms of operating funding for education. We need to make sure education is a priority when planning for the future of our province and investment in students and classrooms plays a big part.”
School boards want the voices of the families and communities they represent to be heard and considered, Davidson said. Boards oversee the province’s education system, while the provincial government is responsible for ensuring the system is appropriately funded.
“Last year’s budget cut about $55 million of funding from school division operating budgets for the 2017-18 school year and boards have worked hard to minimize the negative effects on students and staff resulting from the difficult fiscal situation,” added Davidson. “But school boards are very concerned looking ahead to the 2018-19 year about what will result if funding levels are not restored.”
The SSBA’s advocacy efforts will continue in support of its members and the communities they serve, and Davidson called on families and communities to keep adding their voices by reaching out local to MLAs.
More information is available at https://saskschoolboards.ca/education-belongs-to-community/.