Support for students with special needs

If students with special needs can receive more of the support they need in school, that’s a win for everyone in the classroom.

Kids need access to educational assistants, behavioural counsellors, child and youth workers, psychologists, and speech and language pathologists to help them learn and thrive.

Meeting the needs of special education students is a constant challenge for any government. The Ministry of Education’s core grants for students with identified special needs are currently tied to enrolment — but as experts have written about, although student enrolment is decreasing, the number of students enrolling with identified special needs is increasing. We need the province to reflect that change and allow school boards to receive the funding that they need to adequately support our kids.

So many students with special needs are not formally identified until mid-to-late elementary school years, which means that they might be at a school with little to no resources to support them. That’s not okay! Leaving even one student out is one student too many.

Often, school boards are strapped for funds and are compelled to take the money that has been allocated to other program areas to support special education, which leaves every kid at a loss.

As recommended by the government’s Declining Enrolment Working Group in 2009, special education grants should be revised to better reflect the needs of special education students. The impact of this will be great, not only to the students who deserve education that works for them, but it will lead to a more supportive and inclusive community for all classrooms.

Educators  have been reporting an increase in incidents of violence on the part of students with psychological and behavioural issues. To address these and other issues related to students with special needs, classrooms require more access to educational assistants, behavioural counsellors, child and youth workers, psychologists, and speech and language pathologists.

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  • Base the special education grants on the educational needs of students.
  • Increase funding for educational assistants, behavioural counsellors, child and youth workers, psychologists, and speech and language pathologists.


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