How the BC government will put more special needs kids at risk than ever & why parents need to get loud now.

One of the things I looked forward to after the decimation of public education under the BC Liberals, was seeing classrooms thrive again. I, like most parents, didn’t expect miracles to happen overnight…the system was so underfunded all education advocates knew it would take time to restore things to where it should be. I knew the NDP was passionate about education and when I retired from blogging, I felt little need to follow BCED closely.

But having seen whats coming down the pipeline now, I feel urgently compelled to write so as many parents of kids and teens with special needs, learning disabilities or any challenges that require classroom support see it as soon as possible. And when I write this, I want you to know that this perspective is coming from myself not just as a government critic, but as a parent of a teen with challenges, who I have had to fight to have classroom supports for, his entire time in the school system. I know how the education system works in this province with respect to high needs kids – it  often doesn’t, unless a parent has a strong voice and knows how to navigate the system to ensure their child gets support.

But If we move to the prevalence model of funding, it is my opinion- along with many, many educators – that we will see more kids falling through cracks than we ever have. Please, read on to hear why I’m concerned.

Many parents know before their child enters school, that something is different and unique about them. Sometimes its quite clear and a parent might get a diagnosis through a paediatrician or agency before school starts. But many challenges can’t be accurately diagnosed until a child enters school, and is past a certain age of development. Because kids develop at different rates, its sometimes hard to tell what may be a learning or behavioural challenge, rather than just a child who needs more time to catch up. And often behaviors related to these challenges dont appear anywhere but in the classroom.

This is where a parents journey starts, and where mine did many years ago. I quickly discovered that the school system is not in line with the medical system and that life as a parent of a child with challenges, was not going to be easy. Under the current system, there is no entitlement to supports for a child in the classroom, until a child has a diagnosis. It doesn’t even matter if its quite clear there is an issue, that’s how it works. And even with a diagnosis, some disorders still arent funded for help in the current system.

If you are lucky, the school may pull time with an Educational Assistant assigned to another child, to help out – which isn’t really fair to the other child, or the EA – but usually kids are just sent home. That’s right. Sent home.

Until my child received his first diagnosis, he was only attending school a few hours a day, 3 times a week in primary grades. Try holding a full-time job down with this challenge – parents soon learn that most daycares will not take a child with challenges, and the ones that do charge a high rate.This means home care with a qualified nanny, a relative, or you quit your job outside the home and find work you can do from home.

So you fumble along from professional to professional, on wait lists and call backs, until the not so magical day comes when you finally find out what exactly your childs unique issue is. For many parents it is day of both grieving and tremendous relief – you grieve the news that your child is not going to have a smooth journey, but at the same time it is a relief to be able to finally move forward. Now off you run to school, your childs diagnosis papers in hand, and your school team does the paperwork to receive a designation – here it is a single letter to define what type of disability,challenge or health issue your child has.

The designations are not public,so there is no stigma for your child to feel different, only his teacher and support team know. But these designations mean that:

  • 1) your school may receive more funding if its approved ( not all designations qualify for assistance, eg.ADHD, unless there are multiple combined diagnosis’s of co-existing disorders or syndroms )
  • 2) Your child may receive an educational assistant for a period of time
  • 3)  Your child may qualify for an IEP – Individualized Education Plan.
  • 4) your child may access more specialized assessments and educational specialists via the school system. ( occupational therapist, psychologists etc..)

 

But, surprise surprise,  you will soon find out that the school being able to receive more funding, doesn’t mean your child receives that equivalent in help, as schools can spend it where they feel it needs to be.

This is where parent advocacy plays a big part in how much help your child actually receives( and where I see the need for every district to employ a Parent advocate to help parents learn and navigate  the system).

Currently,a child with a diagnosis and designation may only qualify for help 3 hours of the day…even though their disability is constant. Silly right? That’s funding for you.

This is why class size and composition matter so much to both parents and teachers. You cannot overload one teacher with several kids with challenges, when there is not enough help to go around.

It’s a less than perfect system that parents and educators have been living with for years, and for new parents going into this system, its an exercise in feeling alone and inadequate that results in many tears. Trust me. You have to get used to being ” THAT parent” pretty darn quick because no one is going to look out for your child as much as you will have to.

I’ve been lucky along the way to have the guidance of some pretty amazing educators and administrators who went to bat for my child, and am grateful to have those experiences. I have also encountered some terrible administrators along the way.

Currently I work with an amazing educator whose passion and experience makes all the difference..it’s almost like co-parenting! It’s a tough system, but once you get the diagnosis and designation(s), at least you have something concrete to hold in your hand and use to push for more help.

Now, back to the prevalence model being proposed- Are funding changes needed to special education? Absolutely. Right now parents are made to feel like its their kids who are broken when it fact they aren’t…it is the system that is broken.

Read that again. Your child is not broken…the system is broken. And if we move to the prevalence model I fear it will be more broken than it is now.

So what is the prevalence model? Patti Bacchus did an excellent explanation earlier this year and I will refer to it:

The prevalence model

It sounds simple enough. Instead of requiring school districts, parents, and kids to jump through a bunch of diagnostic and administrative hoops for special education designations that qualify for supplemental special-education funding grants, just give school districts funding based on the general prevalence of special needs in the school-aged population.

After all, government types will tell you that about eight percent of the special-education funding is spent on the “administrivia” required to determine who generates what funding. It makes sense, in theory, to redirect that money to providing services to students.

So why are parents like me, who have spent many years fighting through the current system, and teachers now worried?

Because while just cutting out all the paperwork to spend more money on children with special needs sounds great in theory, in actuality parents should be greatly concerned, particularly for low-mid income earners.  Here is why: 

“The prevalence model will lead to fewer special needs assessments and diagnoses,” responded Hansman. “Without that information, teachers will lose valuable insights at the start of each year when they begin working with a new class. If there is no record of diagnosis and paperwork articulating the nature of a student’s disability or learning challenges, teachers will not be able to properly address that child’s needs as they move through different grades. This disconnection in the name of accounting efficiencies will hamstring teachers’ efforts to support all students.

 

“Moving to a prevalence model will also force parents to fight even harder for specialized supports and services. Families who can afford it will turn to outside psychologists to diagnose their children’s needs. But kids whose parents can’t afford it, or don’t have a parent pushing hard in the principal’s office, will be left behind.”

That is a hard pill to swallow and it’s anything but fair or right.

The wait list for public system diagnosis’s can be a year or longer depending on where you live. It costs thousands for a private assessment, depending on your child’s challenges. And what makes this even more distasteful is that many parents, when first starting this journey, fear speaking out, because they fear losing what little help they get. Bureaucrats know this.

Those designations and assessments, as difficult as it can be to get them, are the only thing that differentiates your child from anyone else. Many parents and kids may end up waiting even longer because the overall funding and staffing isn’t even there right now.

And to make this proposed change even worse? Many parents have no clue this is even happening. Education Minister Rob Fleming  appointed a panel of bureaucrats to review all these proposed changes to our children’s education, in relative secrecy.

Parents of children who will be directly impacted have not been widely consulted. (most parents are still clueless as to what this will means)

Parent groups were not widely consulted. ( I’m told a working group of special education parents was created, but information on who was involved or what was submitted is not widely known )

Many teachers, if not most, still oppose this funding model, for all the same big concerns I and other parents have.

And as we all know, bureaucrats usually consider the bottom line : money.

There is also a bit of relatable history to look at which is fueling concerns. Also from the Patti Bacchus piece linked to above:

“History lessons

You only need to look back to see what happened when the B.C. Liberal government did something similar when it announced targeted funding grants for gifted students would be rolled into general funding grants to school districts, and school boards could figure out the best way to use that money.

What followed was a huge drop in students being assessed and identified as gifted, and subsequent cuts to gifted programs. Those psycho-educational assessments that are used to identify and designate kids also provide detailed information about how individual students learn and can provide the key to why they may be struggling. Assessments help educators design programs and plans to help students succeed. Without that information, students and their teachers can flounder and end up with poor outcomes.

What I’ve also watched happen over the past decade-and-a-half in Vancouver is that parents who have the means to get their kids privately assessed for giftedness or learning disabilities are able to use that information to advocate for their kids and get them increased support and accommodations at school. That’s great for them but not for those who can’t afford to shell out the $3,000 dollars or so it can cost to get a private psycho-educational assessment. That’s a major equity issue, and I fear a shift to a prevalence model could make that a whole lot worse, leaving lower-income kids at an increased disadvantage if schools no longer see the benefit of getting struggling kids assessed by an educational psychologist.

Too often kids who haven’t been properly assessed, particularly low-income kids, are treated as primarily having behaviour problems when what they really have is some form of a learning disability. They get frustrated in class and end up acting out. Instead of figuring out why they’re frustrated and what kind of help they need, the focus is on their behaviour.

As we learned with the gifted experience, school districts are less inclined to get kids assessed if they don’t think doing so will get the district any more funding, so that problem could become a lot worse than it already is under a prevalence model without some strong safeguards in place.

While government will tell you school districts must provide appropriate supports and services for all students, regardless of their designations, those with kids with unfunded designations are often told there isn’t any money to give their kids extra support.”

*This is where I remind every NDP MLA out there, that you campaigned on education, with teachers and parents so desperate to see a positive change, to get elected. And now? We have been left out of a critical funding change that impacts each of us.*

So where are we with all this today ?

I feel so bad, as a parent who is still fully invested in this on a daily basis, and as long time public voice on issues like this, for not catching this before now. I’ll be brutally honest. I thought the NDP would do the right thing, that on this issue at least, they would make things right. Wow, was I wrong.

This was included in the email I received: https://twitter.com/browning_jilli/status/1188277010725916672

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new prevalence funding model will be put before Cabinet in November as an entire package. With absolutely no information out here for parents as to what and how this would roll out and impact our kids.

We’ve already seen big issues in BC schools this fall, and it hasn’t even begun to make news like it should. Despite injections of cash, BC education is still grossly underfunded and understaffed.

There is a shortage of EA’s  ( educational assistants) in many if not most districts, including my own, which means kids with special needs are still being sent home when no EA can be found.

There still isn’t nearly enough staff or funding under the current model and this government knows that. They campaigned on funding BCED properly and what is needed here is more funding, period. Implementing this new model in an underfunded system is truly a very big mistake. Just fund the system properly.

The only losers here if this Prevalence Model passes, will be kids and this is going to blindside thousands of parents. 

So what can we do?

Call or email Education Minister Rob Fleming, today or as soon as possible, and ask him to stop  and share information with the public  and parents PRIOR to voting on this package of recommendations. 

Minister Rob Fleming-Legislative Office:

Room 124 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC  V8V 1X4

 Phone: (250) 356-8247
 Fax: (250) 356-0948

And when you are done that, call or email your local MLA as well. You can find all their contact information at this handy link https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members

** Missed my last post ? Check out lessons from Election 2019, exporting LNG down the Fraser River, and the Money Laundering stunner at https://lailayuile.com/2019/10/26/saturday-morning-coffee-round-up-election-2019-lng-in-delta-money-laundering-inquiry-stunner/

22 Comments on “How the BC government will put more special needs kids at risk than ever & why parents need to get loud now.

  1. More from Patti’s piece linked to above:


    History lessons

    You only need to look back to see what happened when the B.C. Liberal government did something similar when it announced targeted funding grants for gifted students would be rolled into general funding grants to school districts, and school boards could figure out the best way to use that money.

    What followed was a huge drop in students being assessed and identified as gifted, and subsequent cuts to gifted programs. Those psycho-educational assessments that are used to identify and designate kids also provide detailed information about how individual students learn and can provide the key to why they may be struggling. Assessments help educators design programs and plans to help students succeed. Without that information, students and their teachers can flounder and end up with poor outcomes.

    What I’ve also watched happen over the past decade-and-a-half in Vancouver is that parents who have the means to get their kids privately assessed for giftedness or learning disabilities are able to use that information to advocate for their kids and get them increased support and accommodations at school. That’s great for them but not for those who can’t afford to shell out the $3,000 dollars or so it can cost to get a private psycho-educational assessment. That’s a major equity issue, and I fear a shift to a prevalence model could make that a whole lot worse, leaving lower-income kids at an increased disadvantage if schools no longer see the benefit of getting struggling kids assessed by an educational psychologist.

    Too often kids who haven’t been properly assessed, particularly low-income kids, are treated as primarily having behaviour problems when what they really have is some form of a learning disability. They get frustrated in class and end up acting out. Instead of figuring out why they’re frustrated and what kind of help they need, the focus is on their behaviour.

    As we learned with the gifted experience, school districts are less inclined to get kids assessed if they don’t think doing so will get the district any more funding, so that problem could become a lot worse than it already is under a prevalence model without some strong safeguards in place.

    While government will tell you school districts must provide appropriate supports and services for all students, regardless of their designations, those with kids with unfunded designations are often told there isn’t any money to give their kids extra support.”

    So, what are the safeguards? Why isnt the government advising parents of potential changes? Why is there a lack of communication on this issue?

    • ” Ontario and Nova Scotia already use statistical modelling to allocate funding for inclusive education. Economist Hugh Mackenzie summarizes major concerns in a report to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario:

      “The breaking of the link between funding and needs has had profound implications for students, parents, teachers, and special education administrators. For students and parents there is no longer a link between needs and funding that can serve as a guide to available services. For teachers, there is no longer any link between special education needs identified in a classroom setting and additional resources to address those needs. The role of special education administrators has been transformed from one of enabling access to needed services to a gatekeeping role of rationing scarce resources and cost containment.”

      https://www.bctf.ca/publications/NewsmagArticle.aspx?id=51777

  2. Thank you so much for writing about this Laila. Parents should be screaming bloody murder over this one. My job is to support integration of students with special needs and can tell you there isn’t one single child that receives the support they need. Teachers and EAs are already burnt out and it is only October. I can’t for the life of me think what the NDP is thinking doing this – it is the exact opposite of what they said they would do. A feeling of betrayal is strong and it is the kids, teachers and EAs that are going to bear the brunt of this. Things will be much worse with prevalence funding.

    • Thanks for writing this Leanne, I remember you!!

      I agree, I am just reading the working group input for special needs and inclusion, listed here in pdfs. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/resource-management/k-12-funding-and-allocation/funding-model

      I find it rather alarming to see the recommendations when parents in particular have not had any input. Particularly since it states only the most severe designations will remain and the rest will be prevalence funding. I’m reading it and thinking how could they have gone this route ?

      Also, hope you are well. There have been several thousand visitors on this today from all over BC after it was posted in groups and by parents and teachers alike, which tells me there are some concern here.

  3. Pingback: HOW THE BC GOVERNMENT WILL PUT MORE SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS AT RISK THAN EVER & WHY PARENTS NEED TO GET LOUD NOW. – North Okanagan Shuswap Teachers Association

  4. Here’s just one of many reasons why this is a bad idea especially for those in one of the high incidence categories like Learning Disabilities. These are students who typically do not enter public education with a diagnosis but who undergo assessment and receive a diagnosis through the course of their participation in public education. .

    No assessment means no diagnostic label. Without a diagnosis any legal protections such as the right to file a human rights complaint based on disability grounds goes away. There would be no protection under the Equity clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for person with disabilities if no disability is diagnosed. Families and individuals would not be abie to claim the disability tax credit and/or participate in the registered disability saving plan and grant. There are other grants and programs that require an official diagnosis to access such as applying for assistive devices from charities and foundations. All need a diagnosis by a qualified professional that is currently provided through public education. With that path to diagnosis eliminated, only those who can afford costly private assessment will have those protections.

  5. I’m concerned about the potential impact of a prevalence model, if adopted — but I also think you’ve presented a preposterously rosy view of the current system.

    The current focus on diagnosing each individual child is far from benign. Not only does it place incredible financial pressure on families to come up with money to fuel their own diagnostic assessments (because if you’re waiting for a publicly funded assessment you will be waiting for years), but it feeds kids into a gauntlet of assessments that in and of itself can be very damaging. In pursuit of getting enough labels to qualify for funding, our son’s public school fed us through a loop of psychiatrists who ultimately mismedicated our son and made things much worse….and despite an 18-month gauntlet of assessments pushed by the public school system, our son still did not get accurately diagnosed (with ASD) for another two years. It was all a lot of hoop jumping for the sake of funding and did him very little good.
    Nor do I think it is accurate to describe these designations as confidential. Again, in order to access funding, our son’s complete medical records have had to be handed off to a variety of school districts, at least one of whom is in flagrant violation of multiple privacy regulations. So to think that the current system’s emphasis on individual student diagnosis is somehow better for kids is a vast oversimplification.
    Obviously a lot of what I have said above is based on personal experience. But I am in a very privileged position with just about every advantage when it comes to navigating the system, and yet the current focus on individual student designation has irrevocably damaged my son’s health and privacy. If that happens to a kid who is well resourced, how on earth can the current system possibly be serving less privileged kids effectively?
    I have a lot of worries about what the prevalence model could mean for our kid and others, but I certainly don’t think the current system is working, and I don’t think that depicting the designation system as beneficial for children and parents is constructive. Indeed, I think it’s profoundly misleading.

    • I’m sorry for your experience, but I don’t think I painted a “rosy glow” of the current system at all. In fact I specifically have stated it needs to change, but as many failings as it has, it’s still better than the prevalence model. I also mentioned how long it takes to get assessed in the public system now, depending on where you live.

      I disagree entirely though, about the desinations and why they are key.

      I cant speak to your experience and I’m truly sorry you experienced it and that your child experienced it.. but right now designations are the only thing tying funding or assistance to a child at all. Period.

      Under a prevalence model without designations for any child but the most severe( which the working group recommend stay the same) there is zero link between individual children and funding. It’s all statistics and I’m surprised any parent would advocate statistics as a great way to decide how much to fund special needs kids.

      I urge you to read Cathies comment, it comes from a wealth of experience.

      For all the terrible issues you have dealt with,imagine those with no privilege or advantage who may never get an assessment or diagnosis under a prevalence model. Why? For the reasons Patty points out in my blog post.

      And this is the issue. By and far the vast majority of parents who’ve emailed me werent even aware this is happening.

      The prevalence model isnt working in Ontario and it’s only use here is to ultimately cut costs. This isnt about kids, it’s literally all about costs and moving to this system while we are still horrifically underfunded from years of under budgeting that has sadly continued, is a recipe for disaster. We are grossly underfunded and staffed in BCED.

      I worry. I’m worried that because parents have not been consulted, decisions are being made that will irrevocably change children’s lives before they are even started.

  6. I’ve heard and read about some interesting but really concerning stuff like people being aloud to take quick in house training and then given EA status. What the hell. is going on here. EAs were qaulified by hard work and long learning and studying and practicums through college, and now this is aloud. This government and the schoolboards are …… !! It’s obvious things are just as bad and overburdened as they were under the BC Liberal leadership losers. Just new losers leading the way. And children and families continue to suffer. Sorry i have no time for the same type animals in charge that were in before.

    • What??!

      In house quick training for people to become EA’s?

      That’s an incredibly alarming prospect, considering 1) not everyone is a good candidate for becoming an EA. It requires patience, a true understanding of learning challenges and behaviors related to various disorders and challenges.
      2) a quick in house training program isnt going to cover or test what is taught and tested in college programs.

      If you can send info via my contact page, that would be appreciated. This is another huge issue parents should be aware of.

      Thank you so much for sharing this. 🙏🏼

      And if anyone else has info on this please be in touch

      • The only other thing i can offer, upon finding stuff on this subject and an extra about the state of the education system for special needs kids and for people to pick apart, check into it more and come to their own conclusions.weather good or bad or just pros and cons.
        The Burnaby school district by the looks of things started their own short in house program. I’m not knocking the good intentions of people to try things, but why are school districts having to go out and do these things on their own because of the abbysmal failure of the clowns in responsible or irresponsible ministry positions. . Where is the help and assistance from the government to keep the long highly valued college long term training. Why has that program not been kept up and topped up. I realize the shortage problem for kids and burden on EA’s and teachers too. I’m sorry for being so angry and blunt but this damn government has had 18 years in government. 16 in opposition and 2 and some in power to be ready to straighten things out way more and have something way better for children and families going. There was even the supreme court decision on class size and composition. Another thing I agree with from someone i know that is an EA, is that even more and more parents have to be more vocal and give the government a good kicking. The teachers and EA’s can’t do all the pushing. After all, and at the end of the day the parents are the parents and the ones in charge.

        cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/education-assistant-shortage-working-conditions-1.4583039
        globalnews.ca/news/5868624/bc-children-disabilities-school-exclusion-report/

        Of course probably much more on this subject. Anyhow it is nice to see the people and parents commenting and giving their hugely important say. They are the ones who do have the biggest say and part to play for their kids.

  7. I hope that these pilot project for EA in house training qaulifies them properly to take care of all special aspects as the highly qaulified college EA’s are doing in their day to day. I wish that here in Canada there could be a form and big portion of non repayable subsidization for people who take these courses in college or the like. This is worth it for the children. There should be lots of non repayable funding for college and university people. But the governments won’t do it because they are corrupt self serving givers to special interests, wasters , and theives.

  8. Found this. I do like some of the CBC stuff.
    cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/the-sunday-edition-for-february-17-2019-1.5017616/i-felt-helpless-teachers-call-for-support-amid-es…

    • Haha, it’s ok, I found the link, thank you for sending all this 🙂

      This has been an extremely widespread post, shared extensively on Facebook groups, by parents, teachers and on twitter as well. There are also incoming links from education forums, university curriculum studies and various websites, and visitors in the thousands, which speaks to the concern among parents and educators alike. I hope those concerns are being passed along to Rob Fleming and Premier Horgan

  9. Thanks for this thread, Laila. Your experiences as a parent of a special needs student have been laid out very well. Teachers advocate for special services, as they help the needy students and the school as a whole — but when the government doesn’t listen to teachers, the added input of parents like you who are “living it” is so important.

    Parents need to be the primary advocates for their children’s education. Be vocal. Be involved.

    In 2014, I retired after 38 years of teaching — but have been back at it, as a part-timer for a few years now.

    Teachers and many parents welcomed the return of the language that was in-place before Gordon Campbell and crew stripped the contract. It made an immediate impact on the system in general, with many young teachers getting full-time jobs. There has also been extra one-on-one or small group support for special needs students. Special ed teachers had huge case loads under the BC Lib government and this was greatly relieved by the return of the old contract language.

    Special Ed Assistants (SEAs) have been mentioned in above posts. They are SO valuable to schools now and their numbers have grown since the 1980s, where my school of about 300 students had only 1 or 2 SEAs.

    Now, the SEA staff roughly equals what was once the number of teachers. Province-wide, the growth of SEA numbers has created a new challenge for the resource room teacher/s, where managing the schedules of the SEAs and interacting with them is now a major time commitment.

    Regarding the proposed prevalence model: I can see the allure of getting “free” cash, for districts to spend as they see fit, for special needs services.

    It may a surprise readers, but some parents are unwilling to allow their children to be formally assessed, as they don’t want them to be ‘labelled.’ (This can stem from a parent’s own bad experiences in school.) These are kids who would benefit from the prevalence model, as they currently are only getting learning assistance support at-best, when targeted funding and support could do so much more good.

    As well, it has long been thought (by teachers) that the slow speed of getting assessments approved and done was part of a higher-up directive to control budgets. Getting a student identified can affect class sizes, class compositions and staffing for perhaps the rest of their school careers: so it’s much easier to keep a tight squeeze on the assessments (which can only be done by qualified professionals.) The prevalence model could help here, too.

    For years, the Ministry of Education has had “hit” teams that go around the province, checking on each district every few years, to see that kids who are assessed are getting the intended services from the funding they generate. If the prevalence model would eliminate that level of oversight: would districts be less concerned with CYA and just get on with serving students? Teachers, parents and admins advocating for kids at the local school board could/should be enough — if the funding is provided.

    I’m not sold on keeping the old model — and less concerned about the prevalence model. I don’t have much skin in the game, though.

  10. At the local Save On Foods today, I noticed a mother with three kids — the youngest a Down syndrome boy of about age three. She was talking with a store clerk who seemed enthused to talk about learning disabilities.

    He said his son has autism and didn’t say a word before he was four years old. (Talk about a profound delay, compared to ‘normal’ kids he would soon be grouped with in kindergarten. This is another case where the prevalence model would… or ‘could’ have the funds ready to go, as soon as the child arrived. In fact, there is currently help even before school starts. A great nephew of mine has made great gains through early intervention for his autism challenges.)

    I didn’t eavesdrop any further, but it sounded like: here was a dad who was a champion for his son, making a connection with another family who will need some help, getting the best services for their son. I may have been reading too much into it — but it warmed my heart.

    • Thanks for both your knowledgeable comments and so happy to see you! I hope you’re well.

      I was speaking about this with a few educators and parents online, and my concern, and theirs, was still as Patty Bacchus points out in the article I quote in the blog, and one big issue.

      With nothing to tie funding to particular children, and using statistics that in some areas may be vastly out of pace with reality, theres no assurance this works at all, in fact in Ontario it hasnt.

      Another factor one educator brought up is that the kids whose parents dont want labels or diagnoses,will still end up labeled….as “problem” kids usually do to behaviors in the classroom. That’s not fair to the child or educators imo.

      The other point brought up is that prevalence model might..and it’s a big might…only work in a fully funded and staffed system.

      And as we know, ours is still not by far, in some areas we are just as bad off as under the Libs. Funding to schools hasnt increased anywhere remotely close to where it needs to be, and the amount of funding per student is under paced with other provinces. We are without EA’s all over BC, kids are being sent home still regularly because of it, and there is a 2 year wait for a diagnosis in some areas via the school system. This isnt going to change under prevalence. Just because the money comes differently isnt going to ensure it goes where needed or that it’s even enough.

      So why would we move to another model of funding when we currently cant even properly fund the system we have?

      Rob Fleming needs to tell the bureaucrats running the show the same thing they said in opposition: Fund BCED!!!

      And I’m not talking about teachers wages,I’m talking therapists, counsellors, librarians, teachers….we are still in very rough shape in #bced. And that wont change until we get a massive cash infusion and they perhaps offer grants for people to take the EA course so we have enough.

      Its ironic we have the ability to subsidize LNG to the tune of billions, yet this government still isnt making education a priority.

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