July 5, 2021
Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB—After years of cuts to Education funding, the PC government is forcing through a 5 million dollar cut to classrooms for the 2020/21 school year. The province’s education spending reports for the last three years show the PCs cuts to classrooms continued even as enrollment increased. While schools continue to face increased costs to keep kids and educators safe throughout the pandemic, the report for the 2020/21 school year shows a 5 million dollar cut.
“Parents and educators want smaller class sizes and more supports in the classroom to help their children succeed,” said Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “But years of PC cuts to schools have made it harder for educators to give students the one-on-one attention every child deserves. And now, when our kids need more support than ever to catch up, the PCs are making another cut to classrooms. The classroom should be a solid foundation for every child, but that can’t happen when the PCs continue to put money ahead of helping kids succeed.”
The province’s FRAME reports show the PCs cut education funding by $500,000 from the 2018/19 to the 2019/20 school year. The report also shows the PCs are planning an additional $5 million cut for the 2020/21 school year. In addition to their budgeted cuts, the PCs withheld $80 million in Federal funding to keep schools safe throughout the pandemic.
Last month the PC government demanded school boards submit spending reports before the end of the school year so they could lay the groundwork for Bill 64 before the public has a chance to speak out about it at committee. Bill 64 gives the Education Minister, Premier, and Cabinet more power to make cuts to classrooms and close rural schools.