To the editor:
Over the past few years, each year the BC Liberal government has allotted approximately $75 million to be spread throughout BC schools. This money is allocated prudently by school administrators, usually with input from teachers, for EAG (educational assistant) support and/or resource room support.
Unfortunately, the amount of money, once divvied up between about 1,700 BC schools, barely scrapes the surface; the needs of the schools far exceed the amount allotted.
For example, if a school with a population of about 350 students is given about $35,000 from the spread-thin Learning Improvement Fund (LIF), that school has to make one tough decision—use the money for one full-time EA or use the money for a part-time resource room teacher when both areas in most schools are lacking.
When the BCTF asks for $225 million it is only because that is the amount needed to make classrooms safe and manageable, given the number of designated/special needs students in the classrooms now and the lack of support for those students.
I am curious why no one is talking about the Individualized Education Program (IEP) which is the formal document written up for designated students which clearly outlines what is needed in the classroom so the child will have success. Those needs cannot be met with overcrowded classrooms, too many designated students in one class and the lack of support for that student.
Having more EAs in the classroom is not a fix as they take up more space and more time for the teacher. Making sure the students’ needs are being met is.
Terrie Anderson, West Kelowna