Let's fix special education for 2000
Liz Gordon MP Wed Sep 15 1999
The Alliance released its special education policy
at Takapuna Grammar special education unit in Auckland today
aimed at fixing the problems with Special Education 2000 for
the year 2000.
'The government's Special Education 2000 was aimed at improving the support available to students with special needs. Its implementation has in fact reduced support for many students creating unequal, patchy support across the country,' Alliance Education spokesperson Liz Gordon said.
'The scheme closed special education units and shared this resources across all schools. This has meant that schools with a high proportion of special needs students have seen a real decrease in teacher support.
'The scheme also changed the funding of special education in the senior schools to a system that disadvantages schools with more special needs students. Schools now are paid special needs money based on their roll, not based on the number of special needs students.
'This has lead to huge anomalies across the country where schools that have more special needs students but lower rolls than other schools are actually getting paid less per special needs student.
'Some schools have used their enrolment schemes to exclude special needs students but they still get paid money for special needs students.
'The last straw has been the government trying to get parents to give up their guaranteed rights to extra resources for special needs students under section 9 of the Education Act because the government claims Special Education 2000 is working so well.
'The Alliance will reintroduce direct funding to special needs units where they are needed.
'We will review the roll based funding formula to so that schools with lots of special needs students aren't disadvantaged
'We will stop the government's harassment of parents to sign away their rights under section 9 of the Education Act.
'Above all parents will be partners with government in the development of these special education polices,' Liz Gordon said.