Dear Kootenay-Columbia Board of School Trustees,
We, the members of Parents of Special Needs Children –Equitable Access to Education, wish to acknowledge and thank the Kootenay-Columbia School District’s laudable decision not to remove students from their special education programs.
We whole-heartedly support the Board Chair, Mr. Ganzert’s, opinion that, “The entire funding issue in the public education system is disgraceful.” We agree that not only are the eligibility rules inflexible, leaving many needy children without support services, but it is our collective experience that even those of our children who do qualify, all too often receive an inadequate level of support which would enable them to equitably access the same educational opportunities as their non-disabled peers.
We are reminded of Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella’s words when speaking on behalf of the Supreme Court of Canada in their ruling on Moore v. British Columbia, when she wrote: “Adequate special education is not a dispensable luxury – it is the ramp that provides access to the statutory commitment to education made to all children in British Columbia. Therefore, we will be calling on government once again to provide a level of funding that would enable all school boards in British Columbia to meet that statutory responsibility as well as the Ministry’s own Special Education policy which clearly states that: “All students should have equitable access to learning, opportunities for achievement, and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of their educational programs.”
BC Parents of Special Needs Children – Equitable Access to Education