Sask. Teachers’ Federation launched ad campaign targeting Government for ignoring responsibility

A report from the Fraser Insitute that looked at public school funding between the 2012-13 and 2020-21 school years shows that Saskatchewan was one of just two provinces that saw a decrease in inflation-adjusted per-student funding.

While other provinces saw increases, Saskatchewan saw a 10 per cent decrease in per-student funding.

The Fraser Institute highlighted that compensation for staff was the highest contributor to the total growth in spending. However, its share of the total spending in public schools’ salaries and wages declined slightly then.

That report was a part of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation’s new campaign, launched this week, which aims to draw attention to issues that they say the government is refusing to take responsibility for.

Those issues include crowded classrooms, a need for more access to professional resources, and year-over-year budget cuts.

STF President Samantha Becotte said these issues are harming student learning and making it increasingly challenging to be a teacher in Saskatchewan.

“The cuts to public education are leading to crowded classrooms that make it difficult for every student to see and learn, and sometimes even limit the mobility to move around the classroom,” she said. “More students and fewer teachers means that there’s less time to support students one-on-one in our classrooms.”

“Despite teacher’s best efforts, some students will have their needs left unmet or be left to struggle on the wait list for professional support,” she continued.

Citing the report, Becotte said that if people live in just about any other province in Canada, their children will have more access to school support and services.

“The Premier of our province says that we’re seeing growth that works for everyone, but clearly, this is not growth that is working for our kids,” she said. “As a parent and as a teacher, it is hard to see every day in our classrooms, kids struggling.”

Becotte said she hopes this campaign can show what is really going on in Saskatchewan classrooms.

“It shines a light on the realities that are faced in today’s classrooms, and then everyone can work together to make better changes for the future,” she said. “Hopefully, it puts some pressure on the government to reevaluate where they’re putting their priorities.”

She added that the government needs to invest in education for the needs of students rather than for political reasons.

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