The silencing of local voices through the elimination of local school boards is a serious concern that has been raised repeatedly by municipal leaders at the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) Convention.
Delegates were surprised to see that the Minister of Education did not join several of his colleagues in participating in SUMA’s “Dialogue with Ministers” session today. More shocking, when asked by a delegate why he did not participate in a dialogue, the Minister simply refused to answer the question.
“Councillors from across the province have many concerns with the Sask. Party’s rushed plan to amalgamate school boards and take local voices away from local education,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck. “The fact that the Education Minister was absent to address their many questions shows that the Sask. Party is unwilling to be upfront and honest about any potential major changes they may be planning when it comes to the delivery of education in the province.”
Recently, Beck and other members of the NDP team traveled across the province to listen to parents, teachers, and community members concerned about losing the local input they have into the education of their kids.
“All across Saskatchewan, teachers, parents, and school board trustees have told me they are worried about the Sask. Party’s plan to silence local voices. This is a particular concern at a time when schools across the province are already dealing with infrastructures issues, overcrowded class sizes and fewer resources due to the Sask. Party’s cuts to education,” Beck said. “It’s one thing to sit at the front at a forum with controlled and timed questions, but refusing to sit and engage with local representatives shows an unacceptable refusal to accept responsibility for his government’s own failures.”
“Students and teachers are not the cause for the Sask. Party’s mismanagement, scandal, and waste, so the Sask. Party has to stop making them pay the price with callous cuts and desperate sell-offs,” said Beck.