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Thursday, September 06, 2012 

Harper Breaks Increased Education Funding Promise To First Nations - Brad Wall Does Nothing ...

 A $275 million broken promise by the federal government has been written off as “a bit of a concern” by Premier Brad Wall – a weak response from the Sask. Party, which has failed to address the unacceptable underfunding of First Nations education.

Trent Wotherspoon, NDP education critic, called on the Sask. Party to replace their  weak dismissal with real action.

“Fair funding for First Nations education is critical to equality and today’s funding will be critical for tomorrow’s economy,” said Wotherspoon. “The Sask. Party has failed to stand up for Saskatchewan’s First Nations children, despite the booming aboriginal population and the important opportunity for First Nations people to become fully engaged in our workforce – it is about ensuring a bright future.”

Saskatchewan schools receive more than $10,000 per student in funding, but reserve schools get only $6,400 per student. The federal government committed $275 million to begin to close that gap, but Saskatchewan’s schools have received none of that.

The NDP has called on the Sask. Party to make this unacceptable underfunding a priority, and will continue to until it is addressed.  In March, the Sask. Party refused to debate equal education funding in the Legislature when the NDP called for both parties to pass the Shannen’s Dream motion. Shannen’s Dream recognizes the need for education funding and educational outcomes for First Nations students to be equal to non-aboriginal students. The House of Commons passed the motion unanimously, but the Sask. Party refused to even allow the debate in Saskatchewan.

“First Nations students are going to school under leaky roofs and being shortchanged on programs and opportunities,” said Wotherspoon. “Saskatchewan deserves better.”

Saskatchewan NDP Caucus

( Photo courtesy Tourism Saskatchewan/Kevin Hogarth... )

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