June 18, 2016 by realrenewal
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association has signaled a feistier advocacy role for trustees, in light of shortfalls in provincial funding.
School trustees were deeply disappointed by the long-delayed provincial budget, according to a survey released by the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, giving an average rating of “not good” to describe the funding picture.
“When the government took over responsibility for setting education property tax rates, they also took on responsibility for ensuring that education in Saskatchewan is adequately funded,” SSBA president Connie Bailey said in a media release.
“Our member boards are strongly indicating that is not the case in this most recent budget – and we have a mandate from the public that elected us to advocate for our students,” she added.
A promise to fund divisions based on current year enrolment – instead of the previous year’s – was named as a positive outcome, along with funding for buildings and maintenance. However, significant challenges were identified by trustees, in particular a move to offload teacher salary increases to local school divisions, along with general underfunding and lack of predictability, leading to an overall poor assessment.