Education emergency debate shut down at the provincial legislature

The provincial NDP tried to begin an emergency debate in the provincial legislature Thursday over what they are calling an education crisis in Saskatchewan.

However, the Sask Party government shut down the debate despite reports from the NDP that there is more violence in Saskatchewan classrooms than in any other classroom in Canada and concerns over how education was not mentioned in the throne speech.

Education critic Carla Beck said the general message they’ve been getting is people are disappointed in the provincial education file.

“There was some raised expectations early on with a new Premier and a new education minister, they made a big show about all of the conversations they were having,” Beck said. “What we hear time and time again in the legislative assembly is the Premier congratulating himself for what they’ve done in education; it’s not matching what we’re hearing in our classrooms in any corner of the province.”

Education Minister Gord Wyant said education is a focal point in the 10 year growth plan, the details of which has yet to be released.

“I think you’ll see some pretty specific things in that plan for growth around education, but the immediate issues that are being faced by teachers in the classroom and classroom outcomes, I think are very important to this government,” Wyant said. “I’ve made that very clear every time I talk; when I have my consultations, when I have my discussions with teachers in the classroom, with principals, with trustees and with parents.”

Wyant said consultations are being done to figure out class sizes and classroom supports.

“The intent is of course to make sure that we can have that consultation done and have the results of that consultation being considered as we build our budget for next year,” Wyant said. “Certainly talking to teachers in classrooms, class size and composition is an issue for them, and it’s an issue that we need to deal with.”

Wyant also says the notion the Sask Party doesn’t care about education is false; noting the record investment made into Saskatchewan education over the past two years.

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