June 5, 2014 8:08 pm

Placing blame on cuts to French-language schools

REGINA – The French- language school division in Saskatchewan is facing some troubling financial figures.

In a letter to parents dated June 1st, the school board says program cuts are needed to make up a $4.4-million dollar budget shortfall.  It blames the government for insufficient funding.

Alpha Barry is part of a committee of about 35 parents, called Les Parents Anciennement Silencieux, who are concerned about the future of their children’s french education.

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Barry blames the Conseil des Écoles Fransaskoises (CEF), the school board which overseas 15 French-language schools across the province, for overspending and not properly managing the money.

“We put between your hands a mandate. You failed to deliver the mandate. We want you guys to resign,” said Barry. “We just want them to realize and accept the impact that they have on the system and on us as a parent.”

The NDP Education Critic, Trent Wotherspoon, is calling on the province to make mid-year funding adjustments.

“This government isn’t properly supporting our school divisions,” said Wotherspoon. “We see that in our public and catholic school divisions across Saskatchewan and we see the turmoil in the French school division.”

However, Saskatchewan’s Education Minister says the francophone school division received an increase of $3.4-million this year.

“They’ve had a chronic financial issue for a number of years. They have a line of credit that they are at the max on and they have a number of unpaid bills,” said Minister Don Morgan. “We want to work with them to try and help them work through it.”

Also this week, the school board sent a letter to teachers saying it wants to delay payday from June 25 to June 30. A spokesperson from CEF tells Global News the change is to better coordinate with its government funding grant.

Morgan says it’s working with CEF to ensure teachers are paid on June 25.

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