The effectiveness of Saskatchewan school classrooms hinges on skilled and qualified teachers, but it is also critically dependent on the support of educational assistants (EAs). They highly trained support staff who work one-on-one or in groups with higher needs to students to ensure education is available to all. 

The province has been under fire from the Opposition and Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation for stress on students and educators due to lack of funding and personnel. In a release, the Sask Party government says it’s allowing for the deployment of several hundred more EAs.  It says approximately 200 of these positions are provided by the Government of Saskatchewan's $7 million in targeted funding for school divisions to increase the number of educational assistants for the 2022-23 school year. 

"Educational assistants are valued support staff that provide significant contributions to student learning," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "Our government will continue to ensure school divisions have the funding they need to support students, staff and their school communities."

The release notes that school divisions are reporting, more than 400 additional educational assistants are working in Saskatchewan schools compared to September 2021. Hiring of educational assistants is continual throughout the school year as student needs are assessed.

The province boasts over  $2 billion in Saskatchewan's 27 school divisions as part of its 2022-23 budget. 

Underfunding of the education system has led to controversial decisions in some systems to levy surcharges for students who remain at school over the lunch hour. School boards claim it’s necessary to provide for services in a system starved of financial support.