Record Education Funding For Saskatchewan Students And Classrooms
The 2020-21 Budget provides $2.6 billion for the Ministry of Education, an increase of $123.3 million or five per cent, to support Prekindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms, early learning and child care, libraries and literacy.
Saskatchewan’s 27 school divisions will receive $1.94 billion in school operating funding for the 2020-21 school year, an increase of $42.1 million over last year’s $1.9 billion budget. This increase provides school divisions with funding for enrollment growth and inflation. An increase related to the teachers’ collective bargaining agreement is included.
“I am proud of how our education system has responded to support our students learning from home during these unprecedented times,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “This budget addresses the growth in our schools while helping to stimulate our province’s recovery with 10 new major school projects. This funding will not only support our students and teachers as they return to the classrooms this fall - it will also plan for the future of education by making a significant investment in new schools.”
The budget provides capital funding to build seven new schools and renovate three existing schools. There is an increase of $34.8 million or 36.4 per cent from 2019-20 for a total of $130.4 million in capital funding, which includes:
- $8.5 million to begin planning and design on:
- a new joint-use facility with two elementary schools in Regina’s Harbour Landing neighborhood;
- a new school to consolidate the elementary school and high school in Carrot River;
- renovations to Yorkton Regional High School;
- renovations and addition to John Paul II Collegiate in North Battleford;
- a new elementary school to replace Princess Alexandra, King George and Pleasant Hill elementary schools in Saskatoon;
- a joint-use facility with two elementary schools to replace St. Peter, St. Michael and Imperial elementary schools in Regina;
- replacement for St. Frances Elementary School in Saskatoon; and
- renovations and addition to Athol Murray College of Notre Dame;
- $500,000 to assess the current state of high schools in the cities of Regina and Saskatoon and determine the future high school needs for east Regina and east Saskatoon;
- $46.9 million to provide ongoing funding for four major school consolidation projects underway in Rosthern, Weyburn, Moose Jaw and Regina;
- $62.9 million for preventative maintenance, renewal and emergency funding;
- $10.6 million for relocatable classrooms; and
- $1.0 million for school facility assessments.
In addition to the capital funding included in the 2020-21 Budget, the Government of Saskatchewan announced a two-year capital plan as part of the plans to rebound from the huge economic hit of the COVID -19 pandemic. Over the two years, education infrastructure will see $136.3 million, including, $37.3 million in 2020-21.
- $20.4 million for new major capital projects; and
- $16.9 million for renewal maintenance projects around the province, including projects that will reduce school operating costs through energy efficiency.
An increase of $1.3 million in operating funding will be provided to qualified independent schools and historical high schools for the 2020-21 school year, for a total of $11.8 million. This will provide for increased enrollments and increase of student funding to align historical high schools with associate schools.
Community-based organizations, including child care centres, will receive an increase of $2.4 million more than the 2019-20 Budget. Funding for child care and early learning in the 2020-21 Budget is $98 million. This includes an increase of $350,000 in provincial funding for specialized Prekindergarten programming to support preschool-aged children with intensive needs.
Ability in Me, a program that currently supports students with Down Syndrome and their families in Saskatoon, will receive an increase of $50,000 from the 2019-20 Budget of $401,000 to create a pilot program in Regina.
Municipal, regional libraries and the Pahkisimon Nuye?áh Library System in the north will receive a one per cent increase in funding.