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Winnipeg School Division warns of cuts after education funding announcement

The province has announced a one percent funding increase to public schools.
The province has announced a one percent funding increase to public schools. Tamara Forlanski / Global News

WINNIPEG – Winnipeg’s largest school division has called the one per cent increase in funding to public schools nothing short of a cut.

On Wednesday, Education Minister Ian Wishart announced a $13.1 million increase to public schools.

It amounts to a one per cent increase, but Winnipeg School Division Finance chair Christ Broughton said that doesn’t even meet the cost of inflation, and represents one of the lowest annual increases to education in years.

“It is a stark day for us,” Broughton said. “One per cent – it’s a cut. It represents a further offloading of funding to education onto property owners.”

He believes that could leave school divisions with no choice but to raise education taxes and potentially cut programs.

“I think across Manitoba we’re going to see an increase in property taxes as well as cuts to staff.  We are going to see cuts to teachers in this province,” Broughton said.

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The province said it expects school divisions to find savings not make cuts.

“We’re not looking at programs that we think will result in a reduction in the number of teachers out there,” Wishart said.