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Published by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation

Sask. amends changes to Education Act but NDP, SSBA still concerned

Posted: 05/04/17 10:37am CST
Photo credit: Helloquence

Saskatchewan’s Education Minister is not convinced amendments to changes he is making to the province’s Education Act will satisfy those concerned with the changes.

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, the Saskatchewan School Boards Association and the NDP have all called for the proposed changes — known as Bill 63 — to be scrapped.

If passed, the law will give Minister of Education Don Morgan more power over the province’s school boards.

Morgan confirmed he would be introducing amendments Wednesday night to the proposed changes, but said he suspects those groups “will still have some concerns.”

Bill 63 is expected to pass by the end of the week.

There have been protests — including one Wednesday afternoon — over the proposed changes.

SSBA president Shawn Davidson has said the law would turn school boards into the face, not the voice, of education in the province.

In April, Morgan indicated he would work with the SSBA to tweak parts of the law.

He wouldn’t at that time say specifically what the potential amendments could be, but they were expected to be tabled at a meeting Wednesday night.

Morgan has said he wants the law to allow him to “maintain the ability” to control certain duties and responsibilities of boards.

That, according to Morgan, includes salary structures, administration, how busing contracts take place and joint buying.

He says school boards will maintain the “basic duties they have always had,” managing staffing and “flexibility” in how they spend the money provided to them by the province.

That signaled Morgan was entering Wednesday night’s committee meeting with a plan to leave certain powers in the hands of school boards while centralizing a significant portion of decision-making abilities to his office.

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