Saskatoon

School boards want $54M in cuts reversed, education funding topped up

Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre says she's heard concerns, but no decisions have been made yet about the coming budget for 2018-2019.

Demands come weeks before 2018-2019 provincial budget hits

The Saskatchewan NDP's education critic, MLA Carla Beck, speaks to reporters at the legislative assembly on Tuesday. (CBC)

The Saskatchewan School Boards Association is asking the provincial government to both reinstate about $54 million in education funding it says was cut from the 2017-2018 budget and top up its funding for the education system.

The demands come as the province prepares its 2018-2019 budget, which is expected to land in mid-March.

"School boards are very, very concerned about this current budget cycle," said NDP MLA and education critic Carla Beck on Tuesday.

"Even a zero-per-cent status quo scenario would mean deeper cuts to the classroom."

Beck said that of the $54 million cut, $23 million came out of classrooms. The cuts especially took their toll on students' support workers and teacher's aides, she said.

The $23-million figure is a calculation made early this year based on the annual reports released by school boards late in 2017, she said.

"I hope that they start talking to school boards," Beck said of the government.

No decisions made yet: minister 

Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre said the government has heard the association's concerns.

Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre says she's heard concerns, but no decisions have been made yet about the coming budget for 2018-2019. (CBC)

"The premier and I and cabinet are looking at what we can do for this coming budget, but also what we might be able to do mid-year," she said.

"No decisions have been made, but we are aware and talking about the pressures that have been indicated."