We shouldn’t ask schools to do more with less


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We all want the best for our kids, and that’s why it’s so important that funding for our public education system keeps up with a growing province and the needs of dynamic classrooms. I’d like to share recent information that was released about the province’s approach. The Financial Reporting and Accounting in Manitoba Education (FRAME) report for the 2021-22 school year reveals a steady decline in the province’s contribution to public education.

This is so unfortunate. In 2016, the province paid for 62.4 per cent of the core operating costs in public education. Now, in 2021-22, the provinces’ share is down to 56.4 per cent. This puts pressure on our schools to do more with less. When comparing the numbers year over year, the province has cut their contribution to the core funding of public education by $20 million during this past year alone.

These cuts make it challenging for school divisions to plan year-to-year as they struggle to meet the needs of students returning to in-class learning. The Progressive Conservative government has not been a good partner. As Manitoba’s auditor general reported, only 15 per cent of school leadership agree that the PCs are taking appropriate action to help our kids to recover from the pandemic.

When the province reduces its share of funding schools, school boards are put in an impossible situation. The result has been cuts to programs, including laying off teachers/support staff and providing less support to students. This translates to fewer teachers and support staff, larger class sizes and less access to clinical support needed by our kids.

Schools throughout the province have faced these financial pressures since the PCs formed government in 2016. The PCs are relying on federal ‘safe school’ funding, but that funding is not permanent. It is only a one-time occurrence, which means that when those funds end, school boards face even more pressure to provide the services needed by our kids. I hope you’ll all agree that we need a new approach to public education.

On another note, we will be having a meet-and-greet with area politicians in Transcona Square on Tues., Aug. 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. I’d be thrilled to talk with you about education, health care or anything else you care about. Hope to see you there.

Have concerns about the funding of our public schools? Please reach out to my office at nello.altomare@yourmanitoba.ca or call 204 594 2025.

Nello Altomare

Nello Altomare
Transcona constituency report

Nello Altomare is the NDP MLA for Transcona.

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