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Board of Education 2022-23 budget ‘incredibly disappointing,’ says Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon Board of Education budget cuts' Saskatoon Board of Education budget cuts
WATCH: Saskatoon Board of Directors announcing the budget for the public school year, which included some cuts. The Saskatoon Teachers Federation says ‘it’s incredibly disappointing.’ – Jun 8, 2022

The last two and half years amid the COVID crisis have been really hard on schools, students and teachers and now further cuts are being made according to the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.

“Unfortunately the cuts that are made always inevitably affect our most vulnerable students first, and that’s really unfortunate,” said Patrick Maze, STF president.

The Saskatoon Board of Education officially gave the stamp of approval for its 2022-2023 school year budget on Tuesday.

The public school board says they increased the budget by 2.1 per cent.

Read more: Saskatchewan Health Authority board approves $4.6B budget for 2022-23

“Divisions are having to make very difficult decisions right now, and those decisions are gonna affect our students unfortunately,” said Maze.

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They are planning on cutting 12.7 full time equivalent positions in elementary schools and 6.9 in secondary schools.

They are also adding a new $100 fee for students staying on property during lunches, which is frustrating parents.

“These are things that have always been part of the package of public education, and to suddenly say that we can’t afford that anymore … that’s where things need to be cut. It really seems short sighted and unfair to particular students who don’t have the same resources that everyone,” said parent Kyle Anderson.

Read more: Budget 2022: 4 things that will affect your pocketbook

Global Saskatoon reached out to the Government of Saskatchewan requesting an interview. Instead, they said, ‘The ministry will work with school divisions in reviewing their expenses and monitoring the impact of proposed changes for classrooms.”

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However, parents are worried for their students and the teachers.

“Teachers are going to still work harder, they’re just still going to do the extra moral stuff, they’re still going to do all of their marking at home after they’ve done their teaching for the day. And they will try as hard as they can to make sure that our students don’t suffer, but that’s through taking on some suffering themselves,” said Anderson.

The public school board said it is also disappointed with the approved budget, but feels its hands are tied.

“I have to say, I’m just very upset that we have to do this year after year after year,” said Colleen MacPherson, Saskatoon Public Schools board chair.

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