QUEEN’S PARK – Data obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from The Trillium paints a disturbing picture of the reality students with disabilities and their families face in Ontario’s education system. This comes after the Ministry of Education explicitly refused to release exclusion data on numerous occasions to provide transparency and accountability for families who have to live in uncertainty due to exclusions.
In response to the data released by The Trillium earlier today, Official Opposition Ontario NDP Education critic Chandra Pasma has released the following statement:
“It is alarming that the Minister, despite having access to this data, repeatedly failed to acknowledge that exclusions were taking place in Ontario’s classrooms.
This data is deeply concerning — classrooms on the brink of shuttering due to lack of Educational Assistants, parents being unable to work because of endless exclusions, and harmful inconsistency impacting students’ development.
The Minister needs to face the problem urgently and provide solutions that go beyond touting announcements that are failing to meet the needs of families across Ontario.”
- Earlier this year, Ontario NDP education critic Chandra Pasma launched a joint survey with Ontario Autism Coalition to collect data from parents about exclusions after the Ministry refused transparency on exclusion data
- Ministry data shows 7,722 days of exclusion in the 2021-22 school year, half of the students impacted by this were receiving special education services
- Durham District School Board estimates a $3M deficit in special education. Last year the DDSB expected to spend $6.6m beyondwhat the province provides for special education