More Funding for Special Education in Ontario Schools
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As a community member, RECE and student studying in the field of Early Intervention; I am petitioning the provincial government to address the funding requirements for students with special needs.
As an Early Childhood Educator, I believe that the beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you. Every child has the right to receive the best possible education, whether they have special needs or not. Having children learning in a less restrictive, inclusive environment allows them to develop a positive understanding of themselves and others while learning important academic skills.
However, this isn’t always the case where all children are granted with the privilege of attending school and receiving the education they deserve as parents are concerned about the cutbacks to special education, which are affecting many school boards across the province including Toronto's Public and Catholic School Boards.
Schools now need to try to balance out their budget due to the lack of funding from the government for their most vulnerable students, as warned by the provincial school boards' association (Rushowy, Ferguson,2017).Although the province’s special education budget has increased from 1.09$B in 2002 to 2.72$B in 2014, the funding required to provide special needs children with an equal opportunity to learn is still lacking. This is true as too many children as young as four or five years of age are still stuck on a long waiting list (Gordon, 2017).
Due to requirements for services to support students with special education needs being at an all-time high, but the available funding is simply not keeping pace.
I ask that the provincial government act immediately to address this situation.
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