STF con­cerned as govern­ment sig­nals no ad­di­tional funds for ed­u­ca­tion

The Southwest Booster - - OPINION - SASKATCHEWAN TEACH­ERS’ FED­ER­A­TION

After three years of liv­ing with the con­se­quences of less money for class­rooms, the Saskatchewan Teach­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion has ex­pressed alarm over govern­ment talk of a “main­tain and sus­tain bud­get” for 2019-20.

“We’re at least $16 mil­lion be­low where we were be­fore the March 2017 aus­ter­ity bud­get,” STF Pres­i­dent Pa­trick Maze said. “Sig­nalling no in­crease in op­er­at­ing fund­ing this year is bad for stu­dents and bad for teach­ers.”

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, Premier Scott Moe said on Fe­bru­ary 2 that mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties would be among the only groups get­ting more money in 2019.

Fol­low­ing that speech, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Donna Harpauer added she was walk­ing a “tight line” with the 2019-20 pro­vin­cial bud­get. Harpauer is plan­ning only to “main­tain and sus­tain” fund­ing for ed­u­ca­tion, so­cial ser­vices and health care.

“I cer­tainly hope that, at the very least, the Fi­nance Min­is­ter’s def­i­ni­tion of ‘sus­tain’ takes into ac­count en­rol­ment in­creases and the cost of in­fla­tion,” Maze said. “The cold, hard re­al­ity is it’s go­ing to take more money to ed­u­cate more chil­dren this year.”

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