Local MLAs held a Q&A session with Holy Trinity Catholic School Division trustees on Monday, with one of the topics being funding for education.  

Saskatchewan’s school divisions received $1.99 billion in operating funding in 2022-2023 from the province, an increase of $29.4 million from 2021-2022 or 1.5 per cent.

Holy Trinity itself received an additional $475,000 from the province to help alleviate the pressures for increased enrolment numbers. The school division saw an enrolment increase of 93 students for 2022-2023, an increase of 2.95 per cent.  

Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA Greg Lawrence said a large percentage of the province’s budget is made up of education funding.  

“It is line-item number two. It’s the second most money put into the budget with health coming first and education second. So right there shows our government's priority to education funding,” he said.  

When asked about what additional supports school divisions could coming in 2023-2024, Lawrence said he couldn’t reveal much until the budget is announced.  

The MLAs were asked about how the province will help school divisions with inflationary pressures.  

Moose Jaw North MLA Tim McLeod said helping school divisions with inflationary pressures is a careful balancing act for the province.  

“We can't necessarily tie funding to inflation. The government’s reserves don't rise and fall directly proportional to inflation and therefore neither funding for each ministry can be tied directly to inflation,” McLeod said.  

He noted that each school division’s inflationary situation is different.  

“Inflationary pressures will apply differently, and therefore it's very difficult to paint all school divisions and funding for them with the same brush, so to speak, as a result of inflation that may or may not apply as equally as one would think,” McLeod told the trustees.  

During the 2022-2023 budget year, the province announced an additional $7 million in targeted classroom support funding to hire up to 200 new educational assistants. The province also announced one-time additional funding of $20 million, of which Holy Trinity received $176,600, for rising inflationary costs for fuel and insurance.