NDP calls for Sask. government funding commitments to support school reopening plan

The Saskatchewan NDP has questions regarding the province’s reopen plan for schools and how that plan will be funded.

NDP leader Ryan Meili admitted on Monday at the Saskatchewan Legislature that he’s excited to see kids will be going to back to school in the fall, but he is also worried about the concerns attached.

He said the government’s plan has some direction, but more answers are needed.

“There is no added money in the budget for education since before the pandemic,” explained Meili to reporters. “School divisions are already drawing into their reserves and are worried about cuts in classrooms that were overcrowded and underresourced before this all started.”

Gord Wyant, minister of education, said there’s a $200 million contingency to help alleviate some of those possible pressures for areas like education. He added that funds could go to school divisions requiring additional supports and resources.

“It’s very difficult to table a budget not knowing what those additional costs may be if there are any additional costs,” suggested Wyant.

“I think it’s responsible for a government to have a contingency fund to deal with those unforeseen expenses that may come up as a result of the ongoing pandemic.”

The NDP has heard school divisions are dealing with minimal savings compared to the added costs they are expecting once in-person learning resumes.

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