In a letter to the editor published in today’s Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Jackie Christianson, Chair of the CUPE Saskatchewan Education Workers Steering Committee, writes that during Education Week we could put student’s first by reversing provincial budget cuts to education.
CUPE represents over 7,100 educations workers in Saskatchewan, and we will continue to fight against the cuts to education that not only affect us now but will affect our future generations.
Letter: Our children lose with education cuts
The following letter was published on October 20, 2017, in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix
This is Education Week (October 15-21) and the government’s news release says it will “put students first by investing in our schools.”
I agree with putting students first, but that requires additional funding — not funding cuts. This year’s provincial budget slashed $54.2 million from our 28 school divisions, a 2.6 per cent reduction over last year, or $500 less per student.
These cuts are even more appalling knowing the government increased education property taxes by $67 million this year but is directing those monies into its general revenue fund and not to school divisions struggling with increased student enrolment. In fact, provincial student enrolment increased by 8.6 per cent since 2010 and continues to rise.
Government funding cuts have resulted in the cancellation of the Discovery Pre-School program, full day kindergarten every other day, reduction of bus service in communities and longer bus rides in rural areas, charges for noon supervision, and layoffs or reduction of hours for teachers and support staff. Schools are expected to do more with less.
This is just the beginning of more cuts as the Ministry of Education is asking for $60 million more in “efficiencies” next year.
Our children are our future. Investing in their education helps them succeed in school and gives them better health and social outcomes. Research shows that investing in our children’s education will strengthen our economy; when they succeed, we all succeed.
If the government truly wants to put “students first,” it must immediately reverse the cuts to education.
Chair, CUPE Saskatchewan Education Workers Steering Committee