Sask. government criticized for government funding of independent schools

Published May 2, 2023 9:15 p.m. ET
Updated May 3, 2023 2:23 p.m. ET

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The NDP is critical of government funding increases given to independent schools in the province, many of which are Christian based. The opposition says the schools received a larger funding increase than public schools over the past two years.

“We see that the Sask. Party government this year increased funding to qualified independent schools by 25 per cent,” said NDP leader Carla Beck during question period on Tuesdsay.

The criticism follows a major weekend rally at the legislative building where teachers, parents and school boards demanded more funding.

The NDP say publicly funded schools have had to make do with a funding increase of less than one per cent.

“We saw that or publicly funded system, we needed to have thousands of individuals, teachers, parents, students, concerned citizens show up on their steps demanding adequate funding just to get a response from this premier, from this education minister,” said NDP MLA Matt Love.

The government says it only covers 50 per cent of the cost of independent education and nothing is provided for capital. It says increases received are based on per student enrolment increases.

He said the increase in funding from last year to this year is because they went from 18 to 20 schools.

“The order in council does stipulate $11.9 million for qualified independent schools as part of the overall $17.6 million provided to all independent schools,” Dustin Duncan, minister of education said.

The NDP stopped short of calling for an end to government funding of independent schools. The government believes parents are entitled to a choice.

“We think that’s a good balance,” Duncan said.


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