Mini Rally Brings Public Education Concerns to Moose Jaw MLA
MOOSE JAW – Today, more than 500 people gathered in Moose Jaw to call on local MLA Tim McLeod, Minister of Addictions and Mental Health and a Treasury Board member, to use his influence within government to change course and prioritize funding and services for public education.
In 2022-23 we saw Saskatchewan’s largest student enrolment increase in 20 years; and yet, the number of regular classroom teachers decreased. Between 2007-08 and 2018-19, 38 percent more students need intensive supports; but chronic underfunding and budget cuts have meant that fewer professionals are available, for example, there was a 13.5 percent reduction in psychologists between 2013 and 2022. Each year, government is investing a smaller portion of the provincial budget in public education, despite historic inflation and enrolment growth.
“With a $500 million surplus, government is making a political choice to underfund public education, not an economic one,” said Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Vice-President Nathan Bromm. “We know that Minister McLeod has a lot of influence when it comes to government spending. We ask that he listen to the concerns of the parents and teachers we’ve heard from today, and families across the province whose kids are struggling with overcrowded schools, long wait times for support services and budget cuts that impact their classrooms. Teachers and parents are holding the system together for our kids, but our government is failing them. We need government to step up and do what’s right for the children of this province.”
Kisanne Geis from Assiniboia was one of the speakers at today’s mini rally. She shared her experience as the mother of a 6-year-old autistic child. “Our family has been struggling with Saskatchewan’s education system now for years and it’s time to speak up. As parents, we have been doing everything we possibly can for our son but not having access to appropriate support services, like occupational therapists right in the school, puts families like ours at a real disadvantage. Saskatchewan children need to be cared for and given the right tools to thrive. They deserve better.”
Footage from the mini rally in Moose Jaw will be made available on Vimeo later today. This was the first in a series of mini rallies being held throughout Saskatchewan this fall. Upcoming rallies are planned for:
Humboldt – October 21 at 1 p.m. outside the offices of Hon. Donna Harpauer, President of Treasury Board
Saskatoon – October 28 at 1 p.m. outside the office of Hon. Paul Merriman, Member of Treasury Board
North Battleford – November 4 at 1 p.m. outside the offices of Hon. Jeremy Cockrill, Minister of Education