STF and SSBA have mixed reactions to education budget

President of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Samantha Becotte speaking to reporters after the 2024/2025 budget. (Photo: Tanner Wallace-Scribner)

On the same day that thousands of teachers were striking outside the provincial legislature, the Government of Saskatchewan announced $3.3 billion for the Ministry of Education in their 2024-2025 provincial budget.

Overall, education is seeing an increase of $247.8 million, or 8.1 per cent, over last year. It is targeted at supporting prekindergarten to grade 12 schools, early learning and child care, and libraries.

“As Saskatchewan’s economy and population grows, our government is making significant investments into our children’s future by providing the highest-ever budget to education in the province’s history,” Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill said. “We are committed to ensuring a high-quality education is provided to all students by funding enrolment growth, providing additional funding for classroom supports and building new schools.”

President of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Samantha Becotte said this budget is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

“This is an election budget, and the increase is a larger number, but we know that there are a lot of hidden one-time increases from the last school budget for this one,” she said. “It means that students are still falling further behind.”

Becotte said that this budget does help make up for years of underfunding.

“It does start to make up a little bit of that gap from the numbers that we’ve been able to look at,” she said. “We still need over $250 million to repair that $400 million gap that we’ve been talking about over the last couple years. So this is a step forward, but with no guarantee that they would be adjusted to inflation and enrollment growth, we have no doubt that we’ll continue to fall further behind.”

Despite the ‘record investment,’ Becotte doesn’t trust the government to continue adequate funding.

“We’ve been fooled too many times about elections,” she said. We’ve seen this kind of record increase, and then, in the following three years, education falls behind. We’re never fully making up anything that comes in those election years. Until the government is making a meaningful commitment with teachers, there is little trust left.”

Saskatchewan’s 27 school divisions will receive a record $2.2 billion in school operating funding for the 2024-25 school year, a record increase of $180.0 million, or 8.8 per cent, compared to the 2023-24 Budget.

The 2024-25 school year budget includes $356.6 million for classroom support, an increase of $45.6 million, or 14.7 percent, over the previous year. This includes ongoing funding for the Specialized Support Classroom and Teacher Innovation and Support Fund pilot projects.

Jamie Smith-Windor, the president of the Saskatchewan School Board’s Association, has a more positive outlook than Becotte.

She says this budget is a good starting point.

“We see this is the kind of budget that allows us to move forward and build back some stability into the education system in Saskatchewan,” she said. “We’re encouraged to see some things like recognition of enrollment growth and inflationary factors, as well as some things we’ve been calling for a long time, such as increases to non-teaching staff and the cost of fuel.”

For more on the 2024/2025 budget, check out

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