School boards across the province are giving the provincial budget a very low grade, and are cautioning that low funding could lead to future cuts.
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association says on average, the 28 school divisions gave the budget a rank of 2 out of 5, citing concerns of a lack of funding available to cover increases for teachers negotiated in the provincial collective bargaining agreement.
Teachers are getting a 1.9 per cent increase for their salaries, which the province says school boards will have to pay half for.
Saskatchewan School Boards Association president Connie Bailey says the boards will do everything to ensure students are not negatively impacted by the situation, but adds “at the same time, many have difficult decisions to make with reduced resources available and issues like increasing student numbers and aging infrastructure”.
Some boards did mention positives in the budget, including recognizing current-year enrolment numbers and an increase for money towards maintenance, but many others noted that the changes were offset by the lack of funding for teacher salary increases.
The School Boards Association says some boards will have to find cuts, while others will have to re-route money that was going towards major projects to deal with the lack of funding.
The information comes out one day after the Prairie Spirit School Division announced they would be eliminating 74 positions.