Sask. Party must reverse cuts and save school programs: NDP

The NDP is calling on the Sask. Party to back up their words with action and properly fund school boards so they can provide the level of education that Saskatchewan students need and deserve.

June 30 was the last day for school divisions to submit their budgets to the Minister of Education. Sask. Party funding cuts to education forced school divisions to cut hundreds of jobs as well as specialty programs for students with special needs. The Minister has since said that these programs cannot be cut but he has refused to provide the funding needed to save them.

“There’s no question that it is the Sask. Party that is responsible for the huge cuts to our kids’ classrooms. So, it’s absurd for the Minister to be now pointing the finger at the school boards while he still refuses to reverse the cuts,” said NDP Critic Carla Beck. “Now that the deadline has passed, the ball is in the Minister’s court. Will he fund these programs or will he stand by and let Sask. Party cuts hurt our kids?”

Sask. Party cuts forced the Regina Public school division to close the Discovery Preschool, for children with autism, intellectual, and physical disabilities. The division also had to close other supports such as the Communications Preschool for hard of hearing children.

The Regina Catholic school division also passed a budget where they were forced to phase out the Sunshine program, a learning environment for three to five year olds with intensive needs.

“The Sask. Party have left school divisions across this province with no choices and no ability to teach our kids the way their communities need,” Beck said. “If the Minister wants to show any commitment to education at all, he needs to reverse the cuts and properly fund school divisions so they don’t have cut these important programs and jobs.”