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Saskatchewan government introduces law to take control over school spending

The amendments would give the Saskatchewan education minister the power to order school boards to find ways to save money in the areas of transportation and bulk purchasing.
The amendments would give the Saskatchewan education minister the power to order school boards to find ways to save money in the areas of transportation and bulk purchasing. File / Global News

The Saskatchewan government has introduced legislation that would give the education minister more control over school spending.

The amendments to the Education Act would give the minister the power to order school boards to find ways to save money in the areas of transportation and bulk purchasing.

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They would also set a common salary grid for senior school division administrators and standardize board member costs.

The changes come as the government tries to tackle a $1.3-billion deficit, resulting largely from a big drop in revenue from oil and gas, potash and uranium.

When the budget was released last month, Premier Brad Wall said he was frustrated by the fact that school boards weren’t buying buses together, sharing bus routes or doing joint purchasing for supplies.

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At the same time, the government said it wouldn’t force school divisions to merge and would keep elected boards.