Report calls for overhaul of special education funding for First Nations students

June 14, 2017

A federally-funded report has called for a complete overhaul of special education funding for First Nations students from Ontario reserves in order to provide stability and predictability. “A new model is needed that is bottom-up, holistic, uncapped, flexible, eligible for carry-over between years, and indexed,” the report states. “A binding legal guarantee of adequate and equitable funding is critical to ensuring funding adequacy.” The report stems from a human-rights challenge launched in 2009 by the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation over inadequate special education services for children living on reserves in the province. The report makes 27 recommendations, which include increased funding for students in northern and isolated communities and funding for training local people to become special-education staff and specialists. “This is a good example of the good things that can happen when the government works with First Nations, not against us,” commented Chief Stacey LaForme, Chief of MNCFN. “We are focusing on solutions, and on taking action now. If the governments continue to work with us, we can help give our children a better future starting today.” NationTalk (CP) | NationTalk