Preserving Quality Education

The Sask Party government has cut the number of EAs by 200, forced teachers
to take job action, and the number of students in each classroom has
increased by 9% (2010 Saskatchewan Education Indicators, p. 116).
The Sask Party government has openly admitted to a plan to reduce the
number of EAs in Saskatchewan, although they have quibbled about how
significant those cuts will be. One estimate went as high as a 75%
reduction. Already, under the current government’s watch, the number of
EAs in our province has been cut by approximately 200.
But the Sask Party didn’t stop there. They undermined our education
system further by failing to value the important work teachers do.
Instead of bargaining in good faith and devoting the necessary resources
to our education system, the Sask Party left teachers with no choice
but to take a strike vote. 95% of teachers voted in favour of job action
and, for the first time in our province’s history, teachers across
Saskatchewan went on strike.
While classroom size consistently declined under the previous
NDP government, the Sask Party government has reversed that trend.
Average class size has increased by 9% under the Sask Party’s watch.
Education is an investment not only in our children’s futures, but
also in our province’s future. The government should value the work of
education assistants and teachers.

Doesn’t add up

By Justina Robinson, The StarPhoenix October 31, 2011

I have noticed funding cuts in the school system over the past couple of years.

If we have experienced a housing boom for the past few years, we should also be seeing higher portions of taxes allocated to education from property taxes. And according to the paper, we also have higher enrolment.

What’s going on?

Justina Robinson Biggar

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/Doesn/5631615/story.html#ixzz1cTFL25rq

Read it as a PDF: Doesn’t add up

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Education inequity

By Eugene Paquin, The StarPhoenix October 28, 2011

The story, More students in Saskatoon schools (SP, Oct. 20), identifies some challenges created by increased enrolment.

It quite correctly identifies the cash crunch for school divisions as a problem, especially in a period of rapid growth. I suggest that this problem affects Catholic education disproportionately. (more…)

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Saskatchewan Party campaign promise to start school year late draws fire

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Liam Richards

Regina— The Canadian Press
Published Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 11:24AM EDT
Last updated Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 11:30AM EDT

The Saskatchewan School Boards Association is expressing disappointment for not being consulted about an election promise by the Saskatchewan Party to start the school year after Labour Day.

Party Leader Brad Wall says if re-elected Nov. 7, kindergarten to Grade 12 students would not start classes until after the September long weekend to avoid messing up family vacations and the tourism industry.

Sandi Urban-Hall, president of the association, says starting classes after Labour Day means boards would have to make up for the lost days later in the school year. (more…)

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Arbitrary Decision Impacts Student Achievement

October 27, 2011

The Saskatchewan School Boards Association expressed surprise and disappointment at the Premier’s announcement this morning that if re-elected, the Saskatchewan Party government will amend The Education Act to provide that the school year for all Saskatchewan students will begin after Labour Day.

“Boards of education set their school calendar with the educational needs of students in mind”, said Sandi Urban-Hall, President of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association. (more…)

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Saskatchewan Leaders Debate

By Barbara Cape

I spent my Tuesday evening watching the recent leader’s debate for our provincial election and I’ve got a few thoughts I wanted to share with you.

First of all, a true Leader’s Debate should include the leaders of all political parties: SaskParty, NDP, Greens and Liberals. Each have valuable points of view that we should all hear, regardless of the ‘market share’ outcome. I am disappointed that the media coordinated this debate and created rules to limit the participants.

I don’t know who ‘won’ or ‘lost’ this debate, but I did think that it was interesting that Mr. Wall wanted to ‘fact check’ Mr. Lingenfelter’s comments. I’d like to do the same. I’m not sure if they realize but the majority of the work being done in the healthcare system is done by the whole team – and that team includes technologists, LPN’s, special care aides, environmental and food services workers, admin and maintenance staff… it’s all of us who make up the healthcare experience. (more…)

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No free services

By George B. Flemming, The StarPhoenix October 25, 2011

Re: Privatizing helps (SP, Oct. 18). There are so many things wrong with this letter that I don’t know where to begin.

The most glaring error – one that Allie Klassen shares with many people – is that we have “free” schools and health care. What we have are publicly funded schools and health care. There is a huge difference.

As for the private clinics, perhaps Premier Brad Wall should be asked what will happen to them when the surgical backlog is cleared. I am no fan of unions, but in many cases they have legitimate concerns and all governments, of whatever stripe, should have their feet held to the fire.

George B. Flemming

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/free+services/5600737/story.html#ixzz1buXK3S2a

Read it as a PDF: No free services

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Focus on education

By Steven Allen, The StarPhoenix October 25, 2011

Investment in education has increased over the past few years, but the focus of government funding has been primarily on infrastructure.

It is important to ensure the safety, learning and working conditions of students and teachers.

However, as one teacher so eloquently noted at the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) political town hall forum recently, there needs to be a greater focus on the people in the buildings. (more…)

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Enrolment continues to climb at Saskatoon Public Schools

The StarPhoenix October 19, 2011

More students continue to enrol in the Saskatoon Public School Division (SPSD), prompting the third consecutive year of enrolment increases in the division.

Since 2008 the number of students attending SPSD schools grew by more than 1,200 students. This year, the division experienced an increase of 480 students compared to last year’s enrolment. Total enrolment as of Sept. 30 is 21,297. (more…)

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More students in Saskatoon schools

By Jeanette Stewart, The StarPhoenix October 20, 2011

Despite the challenges created by more students in classrooms, the Saskatoon public school division is celebrating another year of increased enrolment.

“It’s great to be part of an organization that’s growing,” said Jim Morrison, chair o (more…)

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Letter to the Editor: Tuition shell game

Tuition shell game

By Chris Mulhall, The StarPhoenix October 21, 2011

The Saskatchewan Party’s announcement that it will provide $500 per year and up to $2,000 to each student pursuing a postsecondary education in the province may seem like a great relief to many.

However, look at the numbers to get a full sense of what’s happened to tuition over just the past few years.

Statistics Canada data show that tuition in Saskatchewan for a general bachelor’s degree in 2008-09 was $5,064. After the government lifted the tuition freeze for 2009-10, the fee increased by 3.4 per cent, to $5,238. For the 2010-11 school year, tuition jumped by 3.6 per cent to $5,431, and in 2011-12 it increased again by 3.1 per cent to $5,601. (more…)

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