After hearing back from residents across Saskatchewan, the province has decided not to move towards a single school board for the entire province.
The province is accepting recommendations from the Advisory Panel on Education Governance Renewal, which includes keeping elected boards, no major school division boundary changes, keeping the focus on the Education Sector Strategic Plan, making legislative changes to create efficiencies and improve engagement with First Nations and Metis residents.
Finance Minister Kevin Doherty says MLAs were “swamped unlike any other issue that they’ve ever experienced” on keeping the school boards as is.
However, he says there are efficiencies that school boards can tap into that aren’t happening at the moment, so the province will introduce amendments to the Education Act to create a framework for shared services in the areas of procurement, bussing, payroll and salary ranges for school divisions.
The provincial budget is allocating just over 2-billion dollars to education, which is a 6 per cent drop from last year. However, the province says much of that decrease comes from the 262-million dollar investment made last year to build the 18 joint-use schools.
The 28 school divisions will also see a 22 million dollar drop, receiving a total of 1-point-8-6 billion dollars in the 2017-18 budget.
And for advanced education, as part of cost-cutting initiative, each post-secondary institution will see a 5 per cent reduction to base operational funding.