Saskatchewan teachers want local approach when it comes to class diversity and complexity

The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation says they would like to see a “Made in Saskatchewan” approach when it comes to addressing class diversity and complexity.

That’s from STF President Patrick Maze, although he points to a funding model in Alberta that seems to be working there. Maze says that province has a fund with $78 million dollars in which schools and divisions can apply for if they find themselves needing extra support.

Maze says during negotiations with the Saskatchewan government, the STF proposed a similar fund.

“We had proposed at negotiating about a $40 million dollar fund that school divisions and schools could apply to if they find students with extra, requiring extra supports that aren’t able to be met through the existing school budget.”

The STF had offered to shift $20 million dollars from their health plan to classrooms proposing the government match that amount, although the province turned down the idea.

Maze adds the Teachers Federation isn’t as nearly concerned about class size as it is about classroom diversity and complexity.

Maze says a classroom with 32 or 34 students that are at the same learning level can likely be fine with just one teacher, although when it comes to a class with 14 kids that are very diverse or have significant learning needs, more than just one teacher may be required for the classroom.

The STF president says a standard cap on class size isn’t a perfect solution.

Just to meet a class size requirement, classrooms could then possibly see a small number of students from another grade added in, just to meet the requirements.

Talks between the STF and province on a new collective agreement have since come to a halt. The Teachers Federation is set to hold a sanctions vote with teachers over the next two days.

The STF has been without a contract since August 31st, 2019.



More from 620 CKRM