Education and Early Childhood Development: The Minister's Directive referenced in this resolutioni is for the staffing formula used to allocate special education/resource teachers, but not for Educational Assistants. Our department has responded to the needs of the school boards to the best of our fiscal capacity.
The number of support staff in schools has grown from 112 positioins in 1997 to 406 full time equivalent (6 hour) positions in 2010-2011. This dramatic increase has occurred while studentn enrolment has declined significantly.
The actual ratio is now approximately 1 support staff for every 50 children which is one of the lowest in the country.
Eastern School District: The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the District/Boards operating under it do so within a non-categorical approach allowing schools to address student needs without requiring diagnosis. The exception to this is the service provided by the Autism Consultants.
Moving towared a funding index model coudl negatively impact students and further restrict access to existing supports. The current model allows school sto respond in a flexible manner to behaviours and learnign needs when they rise - without waiting for a diagnosis that may or may not be attainable and in some cases may eliminate the students' eligibility for the support they need.
The Eastern School District will continue to collaborate with the Department of Eeucation and Early Childhood Development to successfully meet the goals of all our students.
Western School Board: The Western School Board is a strong advocate of inclusive education practices and will continue to work with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in the allocation of Educational Assitants for the purpose of successfully meeting the programming goals for our children with special needs.