1. Please outline your party's philosophy and policy on publicly
funded education within Saskatchewan. Define your party's position
on the role of private and charter schools within the province.
The New Green Alliance believes that education is the responsibility
of society as a whole. It is for all members of society to contribute
to the education of young people and adults. A number of our party
principles speak directly to the importance of publicly funded education
including our belief in social and economic justice. We believe that
every member of our society should have access to education and that
we also have the responsibility as a society to support those citizens
young and old in their daily needs. We know that students are much
more successful when they live in healthy communities and healthy
families. The New Green Alliance is committed to a society where
cooperation and mutual aid are central aspects to our common lives.
Public education plays a central role in striving to ensure that
all citizens are able to participate in helping enhance the "civil
commons". That is the metaphorical location that we are all
able to provide citizens with "goods" that benefit all
such as public education, clean water, accessible health care, protected
wilderness and access to recreation.
The New Green Alliance also believes that quality education must
be provided for all students no matter where they live, be that
in remote rural Saskatchewan, Northern communities, Indian Reserves
or inner city neighbourhoods, and that responsive and responsible
local decision-making can best address the variations in education
The New Green Alliance believes that we must return power and responsibility
to individuals, communities and regions. We must encourage the flourishing
of regionally based culture, rather than a dominant monoculture.
We must have a decentralized democratic society with our political,
economic and social institutions locating power on the smallest scale
that is efficient and practical. We must reconcile the need for community
and regional self-determination with the need for appropriate centralized
regulation in certain matters. The New Green Alliance would not support
any school movement, such as charter or private schools, that were
detrimental to the common good of all students in Saskatchewan. We
do call for the creation of a school council for every school in
Saskatchewan that would be provided with the funding necessary to
make local decisions.
2. How adequately is public education currently funded to provide
the necessary resources and supports to ensure quality education
for ALL students?
Please outline your position on the following
- the increasing need for resources to support instruction in the
- The need to reduce class size
- the importance of recruitment and retention of Saskatchewan graduates,
through incentives such as forgiving student loans/ providing income
tax breaks/ increasing teacher salaries
- the right to teachers to take job action when deemed necessary
- the appropriate balance between provincial and local funding for
The New Green Alliance believes that the current model for funding
education is not appropriate to our population demographics nor
is it appropriate to a system of fair taxation. We support a significant
shift away from property-based taxation for education to a general
revenue source. If we remove education funding from property taxation
and reduce property taxes, we will need to reform other elements
of our taxation system. The New Green Alliance believes that resource
extraction industries and larger corporate entities are under-taxed,
while small property owners (most homes and farms included) are
over taxed. A simple shift from property taxes to income taxes
will add some degree of fairness to the system, but more is needed.
A graduated system of revenue taxation should replace the education
portion of property taxes for businesses. If this were done businesses
would pay taxes that reflect the revenue they generate from being
part of the Saskatchewan economy, rather than being based on the
assessed value of land on which they are situated. The New Green
Alliance will reform Saskatchewan's taxation system so that it
is more just and effectively supports the development of local
communities (including public education) and sustainable, self-sufficient
The New Green Alliance believes that local communities and schools
are in the best position, with collaboration from student, teacher,
parent and community, to make decisions with regards to resources
and class size. We think that appropriately funded School Councils
will make the best decisions regarding these issues.
The New Green Alliance is interested in working with all members
of society to make Saskatchewan an attractive place to live. We believe
that a healthy people and healthy communities will be a great incentive
for young people to stay in Saskatchewan and others to move to our
province. The New Green Alliance would offer tax incentives for students
who have graduated from post-secondary institutions to stay in Saskatchewan.
We also plan to eliminate tuition fees for publicly-funded post-secondary
education for Saskatchewan students studying in Saskatchewan.
We believe strongly
in the process of collective bargaining and will move to strengthen
the Labour Standards Act to protect workers
and the collective bargaining practices, including the "right
to strike" and legislation that would prevent others from
doing the work of striking teachers and other workers.
3. What does SchoolPLUS mean to you? What needs to happen in order
to make it possible for school division to support schools to implement
the vision and philosophy? How committed is your party to maintaining
and expanding SchoolPLUS initiatives across the province?
The SchoolPLUS philosophy is to engage a wide diversity of society
in the education of our children and youth in Saskatchewan. Under
the direction of this plan schools will become centres that deliver
a variety of services to the community. The New Green Alliance feels
that this model fits with our goal of decentralization and that of
mutual aid and cooperation. In order for SchoolPLUS to become a reality
teachers and other service providers will need support to implement
this philosophy. The Department of Learning, School Boards, and School
Councils all play a role in providing these supports.
4. Have you any additional information that you would like to share?
The New Green Alliance considers the earth and its resources to be
held in trust by current generations for generations as yet unborn,
and that our care for our earth must reflect that understanding
and that responsibility. As such the New Green Alliance is committed
to responsible stewardship and responsive communities.
For more information about the New Green Alliance please visit our
election information site at www.votenga.ca