A school has 30 kids on the wait list for special needs assessments.
Only three can be assessed each year.
By grade 7, how many kids will still not be assessed?
It’s not a trick question. It’s the hard reality of the multi-year wait lists facing parents who can’t pay for private psycho-educational assessments for their kids. And without an assessment, there’s no funding or support for your kid in the classroom.
The answer: over a quarter of them will be entering high school still struggling, without an assessment to understand their needs, and without classroom support.
Don’t blame the school districts. They spend more on special needs education than Victoria is giving them. Last year, MLAs recognized this in their 2014 budget consultation report and recommended increased funding to school districts for special needs students. It didn’t make the government’s budget — not a priority.
(Despite being recommended again in this year’s 2015 budget consultation report, it’s still not in the budget. And still not a priority.)
It’s a nice way to frame your child’s educational and developmental needs: “Not a priority.”
So we suggest you stop by your MLA’s office and let them know — it is a priority. It’s a priority for you as a parent and for your family — including grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and family friends. They care about your kid even if the government doesn’t.
Ask your MLA if they think multi-year waiting lists are appropriate for young developing children? Does it matter if they miss out fundamentals because of an undiagnosed learning disability?
Ask if they think you, and other parents like you, should sue the government for failing to provide equal educational opportunities to your child? (It is a human rights issue. And governments have been successfully sued.)
Oh, and remind them that you, your family and your close friends all vote.