Sask. school divisions slashing nearly 100 jobs due to budget shortfalls, with more expected
Four Saskatchewan school divisions have announced they're slashing a combined total of nearly 100 jobs due to budget shortfalls.
So far Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Saskatoon Public Schools, Chinook School Division and South East Corner Public School Division have announced staffing cuts, with more divisions expected to follow.
Here's a list of what those divisions have announced:
Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools:
Cutting 19.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.
Bringing in $70 per year lunch supervision fee for elementary school students.
Saskatoon Public Schools:
Cutting 12.7 FTE positions in elementary schools.
Cutting 6.9 positions in secondary schools.
Cutting one educational psychologist position, one English as an additional language teaching position and half of a speech language pathologist position.
Charging $100-per-child lunchtime supervision fee.
Chinook School Division:
Cutting 20 teaching positions.
South East Corner Public School Division:
Cutting 21.8 FTE teaching jobs, 2 consultants in early literacy and curriculum.
Cutting 11.6 non-teaching jobs (education psychologists, caretakers etc.).
All school divisions have until June 30 to submit their budgets. Premier Scott Moe said any conversations about additional funding for school divisions would happen after that.
Regina Catholic Schools hasn't approved its budget yet, but its proposed budget — which will be ready for board approval on June 22 — shows it plans to cut 13 teaching positions if the budget is passed.
Staffing cuts 'unacceptable': Sask. Teachers Federation
Saskatchewan Teachers Federation president Patrick Maze said the cuts are "unacceptable."
"The public, who depend on public education and having a high quality public education in Saskatchewan, should be quite disappointed in government for what they've done with the budget," Maze said on Tuesday.
"Our students who need and depend on those supports are going to go without and their education will suffer because of it."
Premier Moe criticized school divisions' plans to charge parents for lunchtime supervision, saying schools should instead draw from their "ample reserves."
"Before a school division is going to charge parents additional dollars for noon hour recess … they most certainly should be looking at using some of the reserves that have been growing in the last few years," Moe said last week.
But Saskatchewan School Boards Association president Shawn Davidson said some divisions don't have any reserves to draw upon because they had to dip into them over the last few years due to the province's "chronic underfunding of education."
Davidson confirmed that reserves increased during the pandemic, but said the money was often designated for specific one-time projects and can't be used to balance the books.