Stop the Cuts to Education Assistants – Our Children are Worth More
The Sask Party initiative to cut Education Assistants from the Education sector is causing real problems for families. Shelley Campbell is a mother, a care provider in long term care, and a strong advocate for improved funding to both our Public and Catholic school systems in Saskatoon. Why? Shelley has a 9 year old boy that relies upon these resources to complete his schooling as he suffers with autism. Her son has been refused access to the two schools conveniently located to the family home.
Shelley has been asking her MLA, she has been asking Principals and she has been asking School Board administration: How can I go to work wondering where my nine year old son is? While she gets a sympathetic nod, the reality is that both the Public and Catholic schools which are within walking distance of her home have refused her son’s enrolment. They have stated that they do not have the funding to place an Education Assistant in her child’s classroom
Why is this story so sad? Our children represent our future. If they cannot get the support they need in the classroom on a consistent basis, it will impact their learning experience and may severely limit their future education opportunities.
Let’s face it. Teachers have a lot to contend with on a daily basis. Classroom sizes are increasing annually in Saskatoon, as is our population. As professionals, teachers need as much support as they can to make sure that EVERY child has the opportunity to learn at their own pace.
Education Assistants (EAs) provide the one-on-one that some children need in order to achieve success in the classroom and if they can win in school, they can and will win in the world. This seems obvious to everyone – except for the provincial government that has reduced the overall funding for the resource offered by EA’s across the province.
So meanwhile, Shelley, her husband and their five children are kept waiting. Work and other commitments must be put on hold as Shelley and her son await the beginning of his school year.