The Saskatchewan government is assisting school divisions with funding to cover high gasoline prices. Lloydminster Public School Division will get $100,400 and the Lloydminster Catholic School Division is to receive an $85,800 allocation.
Education officials say a one-time investment of $20 million for the next school year is to assist with rising fuel and as well insurance costs. Officials state that the funds will also “prevent inflationary costs from diverting resources away from classrooms.”
Education Minister Dustin Duncan says, “Now that school board budgets have been submitted, we have weighed the impact of fuel and insurance costs on their operations and are in a position to provide further assistance to divisions.”
The province also announced a new $7 million fund to allow school divisions to hire up to 200 new educational assistants for the 2022-23 school year.
Meantime, Opposition Leader Carla Beck is urging the government to match school division shortfalls and commit to long-term funding.
“School divisions are facing sky high inflationary pressures and the funding announced today is a drop in the bucket that only covers the shortfalls of six out of twenty seven school divisions,” said Beck. “Since budget day everyone has been telling Scott Moe his austerity budget didn’t cut it. Why did he wait until school division budgets were finalized to lift a finger to help?”
The projected shortfalls for those six divisions have been reported as $19.9 million. Saskatoon Public ($4.5 million), Saskatoon Catholic ($3 million), Regina Public ($2.5 million), Chinook School Division ($4.2 million), South East Cornerstone ($2.5 million) and Regina Catholic ($3.2 million).