The chair of the Prairie Spirit School Division says he has concerns about division staff being used to conduct committee work for the provincial government in addition to their duties for the division.
Following the delivery of the March 22 provincial budget, the education ministry formed four committees to look for efficiencies in several aspects of the education sector, including school division boundaries.
Prairie Spirit school board chair Larry Pavloff said while it’s good to have local division voices on the committees, it has put additional stress on staff.
“Our concern is that we hire these administrators to do work within the school division and do work for the school division,” he said. “It’s very taxing on their time if a lot of their work is being done away from the school division.”
Pavloff said while there may only be one person sitting on a committee from the division, they work with superintendents, teachers and other front line staff to gather information on behalf of the committees, at a time when the government is calling for less administrative staff as a way to save money.
He said the fact the committees are conducting their work “behind closed doors” has also created unease among his staff, because the government said there would be “no major school division boundary changes” but Education Minister Don Morgan said there may be some minor boundary adjustments around Saskatoon and Regina.
“There’s that fear in the back of their mind, because these statements were made, that that’s a possibility,” he said, noting teachers have been asking if the division will lose schools to Saskatoon or Prince Albert.
“We don’t need that.”
Funding to school divisions is to support “not only the objectives of the board, but the objectives of the education sector as a whole,” the ministry noted in a prepared statement.