Victoria school board’s stand on special needs students raises ire

On Feb. 20, parents concerned about a lower quality of education for all students spoke out against the Victoria school board’s position.

The government should maintain limits on the number of special needs students in each classroom for the sake of all students, say parents and teachers upset at the Greater Victoria Board of Education’s efforts to see those limits lifted.

Arguing that identifying students as special needs breeds discrimination, the board asked Education Minister George Abbott to remove the restrictions in place under Bill 33.

On Feb. 13 the board formalized the sentiment in a letter to the minister. It was backed by the Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, a group representing several parent advisory council committees across the Capital Region.

On Feb. 20, parents concerned that an increased workload for teachers leads to a lower quality of education for all students spoke out against the board’s position.

Rachel Franklin, chair of the École Margaret Jenkins School Parent Advisory Council, made it clear her PAC is strongly opposed to the views expressed by the board and the confederation of parent groups.

“This is a very small group of parents with a very specific agenda that’s not very well hidden,” she said.

Families are going without representation by not being able to attend the Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils meetings, added teacher and parent Nicole Strong.

“There are far too many students who don’t have a designation, but who struggle and need support,” said D’Arcy Wingrove, director with the Confederation.

“We need to work in partnership with the entire school community to ensure resources are allocated equitably, not necessarily equally.”

The Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association also spoke out against repealing Bill 33 and asked the board to rescind its letter.

“The reality of the situation is special education funding in the province is atrociously lacking,” Franklin said.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich ‘inside cat’ comes home two weeks later, two pounds lighter

The only one not excited about the return of Arthur, is the… Continue reading

West Shore residents hold forum to voice frustration with Goldstream Park homeless camp

Some 200 residents fill local pub pointing fingers, claiming crime on the rise, safety at risk

City stamps rezoning approval for Merridale Cidery expansion in Victoria

Owner expects doors open by fall 2019 in Dockside Green neighbourhood

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Victoria resident barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Most Read