In the summer and fall of 2003, the Commission on Financing K-12 Education, headed by Ray Boughen, held consultations with the public. The Education Workers’ Steering Committee of CUPE Saskatchewan made a presentation on CUPE’s views on how education should be financed. CUPE made the following recommendations: 1. Keep K-12 education within the public sector and solely publicly funded. Our education system is a social good that must be preserved within the public sector and funded by the public. Our public education system must be protected from increased commercialization and pressures to create private education options. 2. Increase provincial funding to K-12 education so that the province pays at least 60% of the costs. Education should be primarily a provincial responsibility with the province covering the majority of the costs. It will be increasingly difficult for the province to direct and develop educational programs if it is not the main funder of education. 3. Shift the burden of funding education from property taxes to more progressive forms of taxation. Property taxes, while they perhaps must be relied on for a certain level of revenue to ensure local input and accountability, are not the fairest and most appropriate way to pay for our public education system. Saskatchewan is the only province where property taxes pay the majority of the costs of K-12 education. 4. Review the formula for determining recognized expenditures and the costs for providing special programs to ensure fairness and equity. In particular, the actual costs to provide special needs programming and to support Community Schools must be re-examined. 5. Provide increased funding for infrastructure. While the provincial government has increased operating grants over the last few years, funding for capital projects and infrastructure repair does not meet the needs of our aging facilities. We need increased infrastructure funding to ensure we have safe, clean learning environments for our students. We also urge the provincial government to take a position opposing and prohibiting the development of lease-back schools in this province. 6. Increase provincial funding to support provincial bargaining and improved wages and benefits for school board support staff. Support staff workers deserve fair and equitable wages regardless of where they work.