STF Says New Figures Point to the Need for Substantial Reinvestment in Education
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, the professional organization representing the province’s teachers, says it welcomes news our economy is turning the corner.
STF President Patrick Maze says now is a good time for a substantial reinvestment in education.
“This week, we learned our population at the start of 2018 grew by over 13,000 people compared to last year, a new all-time record,” Maze said. “We have to assume that many of those are new students to our province.”
“Also, on Monday, the Minister of Trade told the legislature Saskatchewan will lead the country with 2.9 percent GDP growth in 2018 according to the Royal Bank of Canada.”
“This is great news, and it’s also a signal that now is the time to begin talking about putting back some of the money that has been taken out of our classrooms in the last budget,” Maze said.
In the current school year, $54 million was taken out of the classroom due to funding cuts in the 2016-2017 provincial budget. As of last fall, there were approximately 188 fewer teachers while student numbers were up by roughly 2,500. That’s likely a conservative estimate, given recent figures on record population growth.
“The Premier’s mid-year reinvestment of $7.5 million last month, the first installment of their broader commitment to restore $30 million in lost funding to education, is a good start,” Maze said.
“But it doesn’t come close to making up for the cuts we’ve seen recently.”
“My hope is recent strong economic news will promote the creation of a new provincial budget that reflects a desire to adequately fund services that are essential to the ongoing growth of the province – services the people of Saskatchewan have come to expect.”