Special needs students in the Rainy River district losing out under Wynne Liberals

QUEEN’S PARK - Yesterday the Wynne Liberals quietly released their 2017-18 education funding allotment and the news isn’t good for students with special needs and their families in communities across the Rainy River district.

Fifteen school boards across the province will see special education cuts totaling more than $4.6 million. The Rainy River District School Board alone will see a cut of $91,000 this school year.

“Figures released today by the Ministry of Education show that Kathleen Wynne’s newest cuts to classrooms will mean fewer supports for students, more layoffs, and even more school closures across the province,” said Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell. “Students with special needs will suffer disproportionately because of deep cuts to the services families depend on.”

Rural and northern students and their families are also taking a hit this year. The Geographic Circumstances Grant was slashed another $6 million, on top of the $10 million in cuts Wynne has made since she took office. The program is designed to address higher costs faced by rural and northern schools due to their remoteness. The $6 million slash applies to the 2017/18 fiscal year, bringing the total cut to that grant by Premier Kathleen Wynne to $16 million.

“Premier Wynne simply doesn’t get the challenges rural and remote schools and communities face – and she obviously isn’t listening to parents and teachers of kids with special needs who know best that children need more support and resources in education – not fewer,” said Campbell.