Millions earmarked for Saskatchewan schools going back into provincial coffers

By Lisa Schick/CJME News Staff
August 31, 2016 - 5:33pm

Millions of dollars that had been destined for Saskatchewan's school divisions will now be going back to the provincial government.

This summer the Worker's Compensation Board announced it would be distributing a $281.5 million surplus to employers in Saskatchewan.

Approximately $4 million was set to go to the school divisions, however, the province is stepping in.

"We made the decision that we had budgetary issues all the way across the province because of resource revenue being down. And what we did, is we made the determination at cabinet that we were going to reallocate that money back to the province," explained Education Minister Don Morgan.
 
He said it wasn't anything the divisions did to earn the money, it's simply a WCB surplus.

The money will go to the General Revenue Fund to help with the deficit.

Morgan said the province's goal is to keep school divisions fiscally whole and it makes adjustments every year.

The WCB payments will go straight to the divisions, so the Ministry of Education will reduce its payments to the school divisions by corresponding amounts.

"They didn't know that the money was coming, it was not budgeted for in any of the budget submissions they did ... I don't want to use the word windfall, but it was unexpected revenue for them," said Morgan.
 
In addition, Morgan said it's taxpayer money which is paying for the school divisions, so it's taxpayer money coming back.

He said they looked at the money in the broader context of the province's fiscal situation.

 

Email lschick@cjme.com

Twitter @LMSchickler

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