Record $2.66 Billion Education Budget Protects Classrooms, Builds Schools And Grows Child Care Capacity
Saskatchewan's 2021-22 Ministry of Education Budget is the largest in history, providing $2.66 billion to support Prekindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms, early learning and child care, and libraries and literacy. This represents an increase of $59.6 million or 2.3 per cent over last year.
"We are pleased to once again be increasing education funding to historic-levels, allowing us to protect our classrooms, build school infrastructure and grow child care capacity for Saskatchewan families," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "We remain committed to protecting our school communities as they look to address student needs, as we move toward the 2021-22 school year."
Saskatchewan's 27 school divisions will receive $1.96 billion in school operating funding for the 2021-22 school year, an increase of $19.2 million. This includes fully funding the 2.0 per cent salary increase as part of the Teachers' Collective Bargaining Agreement, and is in addition to the more than $150 million COVID-19 contingency fund for education that has been available to school divisions and independent schools over the last year to support the ongoing needs of schools during the pandemic.
The more than $150 million is providing school divisions and independent schools with additional staff, substitute teacher costs, IT equipment, PPE and sanitation supplies. Included in this funding was $20.7 million in provincial funding announced on March 11, 2021, to continue to support school divisions and independent schools with these costs as the work to ensure proper supports for students are in place for fall 2021.
The budget provides $189.9 million in funding for school capital as part of the province's ongoing capital plan to grow the economy. This is an increase of $22.3 million or 13.3 per cent from 2020-21, including:
- $101.9 million to support 21 ongoing capital projects to build 16 new schools and renovate five existing schools;
- $8.8 million to complete 15 maintenance projects, as part of the government's two-year, $25.9 million commitment;
- $67.9 million in funding for preventative maintenance, renewal and emergency funding; and
- $10.33 million for relocatable classrooms.
Funding for child care and early learning in the 2021-22 Budget is $100.8 million. This includes $75.5 million for child care, an increase of $2.0 million in provincial funding. The additional funding will increase grants for both new and existing home child care providers. The province is also working to grow the number of available child care spaces in the province. The 2021-22 Budget provides funding to create 176 new licensed home-based spaces and 51 new licensed centre spaces, as part of the province's four-year commitment to create 750 new licensed child care spaces.
This budget provides a nearly $1.6 million increase over last year for community-based organizations for increased costs and to support increased wages for staff.
Qualified independent schools will receive an additional $3.1 million in funding for the 2021-22 school year for additional costs, including increased enrolment.