REGINA – The Saskatchewan government is requesting a review of financial practices at the province’s French-language school division.
In a letter to parents, dated June 1, Conseil des écoles fransaskoises (CÉF) said program cuts are needed to make up a $4.4-million budget shortfall, while blaming the government for insufficient funding.
“Ensuring the financial stability of the CÉF is important to our government because it impacts Saskatchewan students,” said education minister Don Morgan. “While we have concerns about the CÉF’s financial position, I appreciate that they are taking this situation seriously, and have already been making important decisions and difficult changes to improve their financial situation.”
The provincial auditor is being asked to review the governance and financial management of the CÉF.
In a statement, Conseil scolaire fransaskois (CSF) president André Denis said there have been ‘concrete actions’ to stabilize the school board’s finances.
“The Conseil will await provincial auditor’s recommendations following her assessment of the CÉF’s financial situation. We will continue to collaborate with the Ministry in this direction to meet the needs of the students,” Denis said.
In the meantime, the government says the education ministry will try to ensure the CÉF is able to ‘manage their finances appropriately and operate within their annual budget.’
Last week, a parent committee called Les Parents Anciennement Silencieux suggested the CÉF has overspent and inappropriately managed money.
NDP education critic Trent Wotherspoon said the province needs to make mid-year funding adjustments, while Morgan told Global News the Francophone school division received an increase of $3.4-million this year.
The CÉF oversees 15 French-language schools across Saskatchewan.
With files from Kim Smith