Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Concerned With Classroom Funding
SASKATOON – Teachers in Saskatchewan are raising concerns about classroom funding as a new school year is set to begin.
Successive years of education budget reductions from the provincial government are forcing parents, families and teachers to subsidize the classroom out of their own pockets at an increasing rate.
“Parents are telling teachers that, in addition to the regular list of school supplies, they have to pay all kinds of programming fees just so that their kids can take a certain class,” said Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation President Patrick Maze. “Art materials, sports equipment, photocopying fees – you name it, parents are being asked to offset the cost for basic education. The classroom is being shortchanged and parents are being asked to close this funding gap.”
Of the teachers who responded to an annual STF members’ survey, 96 percent said they use their own money for teaching activities, while more than half (53 percent), spend $500 or more. Those members also overwhelmingly felt that the demands of teachers are constantly increasing while the resources required to help them do their job are diminishing.
“Excessive fee charging, as well as extensive supply lists, are creating barriers to fair education for some students. As the summer ends, kids and parents shouldn’t have to worry about how they’re going to afford public school this year,” said Maze. “The provincial government is the sole funder of public education, and is obligated to provide a high-quality public education to all students in Saskatchewan, regardless of their individual circumstances.
“We love what we do, and we do this job for the kids,” Maze said. “However, we also don’t want this trend of parent, family and teacher subsidies of the classroom to continue when the province should be providing the necessary funding.”