UR Opinion

Education funding model not working

Danielle Girard

By Danielle Girard

To whom it may concern,
I recently read a letter submitted to the Lacombe Globe by another concerned parent such as myself about the way that the funding is going for special needs children. I will quote directly from the letter which I felt was so well written and I whole heartedly agree with see below:
"The “inclusive” education mandate our provincial government has adopted is being implemented and even administration can’t explain what exactly this means for my special student, other than there is less accountability, and less assistance. But this is all for her good and will improve her quality of education.
My child is a guinea pig and so is yours.
Wolf Creek Public Schools has a few pilot programs this year within the district, and then next year it’s a full on inclusion mandate. This means special needs students will be in mainstream classes – with or without an aide (my experience is without) – in classes already bursting at the high school level with more than 30 students.
My child, unfortunately, is not a squeaky wheel and I know she is just going to sit there with everything flying over her head."
My son now is expected to function like a normal child (which he is not) under the guise of "independence". So what does this mean for his future? It means that he will leave high school without the education that he is entitled too, that the playing field for children with disabilities is no longer level and that there is less accountability with how his funding (my tax dollars) are going to directly support his future education. While the teachers do their best and no disrespect to them as they can only work within the system, the provincial funding model is not working for our special needs children and I suspect not very well for the educators either!
Kudos to Paula Zobel for calling us to action because I whole heartedly agree with everything she said in her letter to the Lacombe Globe. It is the future of our children that this new model threatens and someone needs to stand up and fight for our kids.
Danielle Girard

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