Budget increase to schools too slight: critics
The Saskatchewan budget dedicated a $33-million increase in money for schools, but critics say it's not enough to cover rising costs.
"We have some other costs that have gone up since then," said Barbara Young, chair of the Regina Public School Board. "And we also have a teacher contract that we settled which creates more funding needs for us."
The budget announcement amounts to a one per cent increase in money for schools compared to last year, however Young said the increase is too slight and does not cover inflation.
Staff cuts possible
"We'll have some choices that we'll have to make and they'll be some things that can be done that won't affect the classroom," said Young.
However, Sandi Urban-Hall, of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, said the necessary cuts may include staff and new buses.
"It may mean reductions in staff if that's the only option for them," Urban-Hall said. "It may mean deferring buying some new busing."
The school board will discuss possible cost cutting areas at its next meeting in April.
Duplication of services
Ken Krawetz, provincial education minister, said he knows there are concerns but believes the school boards will make the budget work.
"We need to look at efficiencies," said Krawetz. "We need to look at things that we are duplicating to ensure that we are not spending dollars in ways that could save us money."
Krawetz said officials will meet with school boards to try and address their concerns as the boards work to finalize their own budgets.