The BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) has listed a number of concerns over the new curriculum. One of them relates to the funding for special needs students, and the BCTF website states:
Support for special education [in the New Curriculum] remains a huge area of concern. Proposals to eliminate current special education categories have been discussed for years, and many teachers have heard that this is an inevitable development. Since this would end the accompanying targeted funding for BC’s more vulnerable students, teachers are naturally alarmed about how these students’ needs will be met.
The BC Ministry of Education includes “gifted” in its profile of special needs. However, at present, there is no targeted funding for gifted students in BC. Programs for gifted must be funded from the general envelope. If the BCTF’s concern has legs, the new curriculum will not support any children with special needs, including those living with physical, emotional and learning challenges.
However, the new curriculum is just being rolled out, and it’s not yet clear how the programs will be implemented. We must continue to monitor the situation, to ask questions and to advocate for equitable opportunity for all children.