The Minister has made progress on most mandate points, which is encouraging. But we have all heard public announcements that there will be no new funding for public education. So what does “enhancement” mean in this context? It’s a carefully worded point. I wonder how funding can be “enhanced” if it’s not increased. Maybe in the next budget?
Students with special needs need and deserve much more support, and one of those vital supports is clearly more education assistant time. More psychologists are needed who can fast track or at least up-to-speed track designation paperwork as long as this funding model is in place. Watch for it to be called “the medical model” and gently or not so gently derided as focussing on deficits, not strengths, which is a not so subtle way to move everyone into the “diverse learner” non-category category. No support program or IEP exclusively focuses on “needs’ Any educator knows to start with strengths and build on those.
Many changes are coming and the progress toward those changes and how they are developed – or changed because of stakeholder input – bears close watching.