SASKATOON – Darrin Lamoureux, Saskatchewan Liberal Leader and candidate in the Saskatoon Meewasin by-election, expressed concern over cuts to provincial education funding, and committed to fighting to ensure that students and teachers don’t suffer as a result of the Saskatchewan Party government’s financial mismanagement.
“The Sask Party government signed a collective agreement with teachers for a 1.9 per cent salary increase, only to turn around and put school divisions on the hook to pay for half of that increase,” said Lamoureux, “The student population in Saskatoon is increasing, at the same time schools are being forced to cut staffing costs. How can this not have an effect in the classroom? Schools will inevitably have fewer resources to support students and their families, especially those with special educational needs.”
Lamoureux also voiced support for maintaining local school divisions and elected school board trustees. “Taxpayers deserve the accountability of an elected board that is best positioned to respond to the educational needs of the local community. There has been no substantive consultation, debate, or evidence presented by the government that forced amalgamation of school divisions or appointed boards would result in any significant benefit. This is just another attempt by the Sask Party to place blame on our hard-working teachers for their mismanagement of the provinces finances.”
If elected to the legislature, Lamoureux promised to hold the Wall government accountable to provide adequate education funding by ensuring that per-student funding to school districts reflects current year enrolment numbers. He also promised to work towards providing schools and teachers with access to discretionary funds to cover individual classroom needs.