Just over a year ago Doug Ford was elected to form the government of Ontario. He became the province’s 26th premier. The year has veritably galloped across the field of time. With one week left in the school year, it is appropriate to measure the government’s path in relation to the issues of concern to GAJE.
Alas. There appears to have been no public movement by the government to ameliorate the unfairness of the current educational funding system. The five largest provinces, outside of Ontario, extend some funding to independent schools. This is not simply a matter of self-interest on the part of families wishing to enrol their children in independent schools. The experience of B.C. has shown that by conferring some form of funding assistance to independent schools, they spend public funds more efficiently than Ontario and achieve stronger educational outcomes than Ontario.
We must not retreat from reminding the government of the need to address these vital educational funding matters. Nor is there any harm in doing so. Indeed, there is only harm in not doing so.
An excellent starting point is to join the education-related, communal initiative – Every Kid Counts – already underway. We wrote about this campaign last month. It is important that we do so again.
Every Kid Counts is aimed at changing the government’s policy that “denies many students with special needs access to various essential health services because they happen to attend an independent school.”
Federation and CIJA are urging the government “to expand the range of services offered by the School Health Support Services program” to include every child with special needs who face unique learning challenges. The government’s funding policy is wrong, Federation and CIJA state, ”because it denies children with disabilities access to the educational environments they may require. We believe every student, regardless of ability, should have equal access to the services they need to succeed.”
The Every Kid Counts campaign may be accessed at:
After one year, the Government of Ontario is no longer new. It is time they heard from our grassroots about the issues that matter so vitally to us and to our future.