Here is an email I just responded to:
Hi Adam if you would like to add a lawn sign to our yard we would like to help support you! Our address is XXXXXX.
I was also wondering your thoughts on adding full-time school counselor to our elementary schools. My daughter is in Grade 1 and having some trouble and could really use some help well in school. According to the school there is one counsellor for 8 schools? This is unacceptable she can maybe only come to the school once a week if that. I am not sure why the school board thinks this way?
Here is my response:
I first want to say thank you for the lawn sign support...
You have an interesting point and a tough one. With my son in Grade 1 as well, I am aware that the counselors do spend their time in multiple schools. I have followed up with a number of administrators to ask why and have discovered it comes down to budget.
Currently, the Regina Public School system operates just over 40 schools in which the Government provides approximately $240 million. Out of this $240M, around 80% of it goes to salaries (teachers, administration, maintenance, etc.). When budget pressures exist, unfortunately in the past it is not the teachers that get cut but the supporting people to the system, including school counselors. Just this June (google the articles if you are curious), the Government announced they were striking a deal for a 1.9% increase which equals $18M and I see this as a positive for our teachers. However, the Government also announced they would only fund half of the increase and the other half would have to be found as savings in the school system. This $9M dollar pressure is one example of where those hard decisions have had to be made this year.
One thing I want to tell you Kevin is that I do not have all the answers yet, but when I am elected I will ask the tough questions and fight to ensure that every dollar of our tax money is being used to directly benefit our children.
Thank you for the email.