May 11, 2023
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB - Internal government documents, hidden from the public, show the PC government’s new funding model for public schools will mean millions of dollars in cuts to classrooms.
"Premier Stefanson has been cutting schools for years. Now we’ve learned they have a secret plan to cut school funding by millions of dollars for thousands of kids if they are elected this fall. We can’t afford to give the PCs another chance to cut schools,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “Our team knows that Manitoba kids deserve the best. That means small class sizes and a teacher who can give each student the one-on-one attention they need. It means a classroom with EAs and resources, plus a warm meal for kids who need it. Kids deserve better than the PCs. They deserve a government that gives them a brighter future.”
The PC government publicly promised the development of a new education funding model but delayed the publication this past December. The Stefanson government has said the new funding model will take effect in the next school year, after the next provincial election.
The Manitoba NDP has obtained a slide deck marked ‘Confidential for the funding model review team’ that shows the difference between current funding levels and the model's new levels for each school division.
Under the new model, some school divisions will see their annual funding cut by millions of dollars. Seven Oaks School Division will be cut by $11 million dollars. St James-Assiniboia will be cut by $8.5 million. Winnipeg School Division will be cut by more than $2 million. Louis Riel will be cut by $10 million. Lord Selkirk will be cut by more than $7.5 million and the Interlake School Division will be cut by nearly $3 million.
“Schools and teachers are already being asked to do the impossible and the PC’s plan to cut school funding will only make it worse. It will mean fewer teachers and EAs, more students crammed into classrooms and less support for parents and families,” said NDP Education Critic Nello Altomare. “Just like with Bill 64, the PCs have a secret plan that will hurt our schools. Unlike the PCs we won’t cut schools, we’ll help every student reach their fullest potential.”
Dion Delorme, president of the union that represents Educational Assistants in the Seven Oaks School Division, said more PC cuts will put kids at risk.
“Teachers, EAs and school staff have done everything we can to keep the PC cuts from hurting our classrooms, but ultimately kids are doing worse because of this government’s bad choices,” said Delorme. “We can’t afford another round of cuts. We can’t let the PCs roll out their plan to cut schools.”
The documents can be viewed here.