Vancouver School District brought forward its Preliminary Budget Proposals for 2016/2017 and there are recommendations that the programs for gifted children be cut. Taken directly from the budget proposals, here are the main points of two recommendations. The first one is to eliminate the position of Gifted Teacher Mentor
E 12.4 Gifted Teacher Mentor:
There is currently a 0.80 FTE Gifted Education Mentor providing support for and coordination of Gifted Education program delivery at the district and school level. During the 2014-2015 budget process, this position was changed from a 1.00 Gifted Consultant Position to a part-time Teacher Mentor position. To eliminate this position entirely would mean a reduction in available supports to district gifted programs and district programs, and which would therefore require a reallocation of responsibilities.
It is recommended that the position of Gifted Teacher Mentor be eliminated.
Budget Impact: $73,701.00
The second related recommendation is to eliminate the positions of teachers of the gifted:
E 12.17 District-Based Gifted Staffing:
Gifted programs provide opportunities for students to participate in challenging academic, intellectual and creative learning experiences with similarly able students who share their interests. The VBE offers a range of programs and services to respond to the diversity of learner needs. Program/support includes:
- Challenge Centre Programs
- Mentorship Program
- Seminar Programs
Currently there is a 9.70 FTE in staffing allocations for Gifted Education Programs. A reduction in this area of 3.70 FTE (3.40 teaching and 0.30 Educational Psychologist) would decrease the amount of specialized support available for gifted students.
It is recommended that the Challenge Centre, Mentorship and Seminar Programs as well as the 0.30 Gifted Educational Psychologist position (total 3.70 FTE) be eliminated.
Budget Impact: $340,866.00
It’s tempting to editorialize, and I probably will in future blogs, but I leave you to consider the implications of these recommendations for yourselves.