New COVID-19 restrictions highlight need for smaller class sizes

In light of new public health orders to limit indoor gatherings from 30 to 15 people, New Democrat candidates Carla Beck and Trent Wotherspoon reiterated the need for smaller class sizes.

“We’ve repeatedly said it is more important than ever to keep our class sizes small so kids can be safe,” said Regina Lakeview Candidate Carla Beck. “But, while we’re reducing gathering sizes in homes to fifteen, Scott Moe and the Sask. Party cuts mean that kids and teachers are still being crammed into classrooms of thirty-five or more.” 

Scott Moe’s cuts have hurt students and teachers for years, but things have gotten even worse during the pandemic. The Sask. Party cut $54 million from classrooms in the devastating 2017 budget, and they have held the line on spending ever since. That means their cuts have reduced funding for each student by more than $300. 

As the pandemic hit, Scott Moe ignored the concerns of parents, teachers and students. Just days before students returned to the classroom, the Sask. Party released the worst back to school plan in the country. 

Trent Wotherspoon, NDP candidate for Regina Rosemont and former teacher, underscored his party’s commitment to hiring 1,000 teachers, 750 educational assistants and 400 custodial staff. Wotherspoon warned that education cuts in a pandemic are downright dangerous. 

“All we can trust Scott Moe to do, is what he has always done – and that’s cut,” said Wotherspoon. “Large class sizes are bad for our kids at the best of times, but when the Chief Medical officer is telling us to restrict indoor gatherings to no more than 15 people, it’s irresponsible for the Sask. Party to keep our kids in classes with more than 30. We need to invest in people – and start by reducing our kids’ class sizes.”