REGINA – Saskatchewan’s school boards are encouraged that some funding was restored in the provincial budget for 2018-19 announced today, but are calling for renewed investment in education going forward.
“We are pleased that Premier Scott Moe is committed to keeping the promise from his leadership campaign and the government has restored some funding for education,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, president of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association. “Premier Moe said that education must be a top priority and we thank him and Minister of Education Gordon Wyant for their reprioritization of support for our province’s students.
“However, we know the funding announced today only goes so far in terms of meeting the pressures being faced in classrooms across Saskatchewan,” Davidson continued. “We also need to ensure predictable and sustainable funding is in place to support innovation and improvement in the system for many years to come.”
School boards have been calling for restored and renewed investment after funding for education was cut significantly in the provincial budget for the previous year, 2017-18. The funding announced in the 2018-19 budget will improve the ability of boards to address pressures facing school division operations, but continued growth and inflation means funding levels remain concerning.
“Boards made many difficult decisions as a result of last year’s cuts,” Davidson said. “Our members will be working through the funding allocations for their divisions to determine what they mean for the next school year.”
Davidson said boards see the efforts made this year to reprioritize funding for education as critical to supporting continued progress in the area of student achievement.
“Our responsibility as locally elected boards is to represent the voices of families and communities in overseeing the operations of our education system,” he said. “The provincial government is responsible for funding. We need to be engaged and working together and we believe that all students should have the resources they need to succeed and achieve, regardless of where they live in the province or their personal circumstances.”