Monday, June 4, 2012
More thoughts on the new funding arrangements
I just can't stop thinking about this awful "Every Student, Every School" funding model. Here are a few things I've realised in the last few days:
1. No individual funding means that if I have to move my kids to a different school, there is no funding to go with them. Under the old system their support funding automatically followed them to a new school. Now they will have to turn up at a new school with no extra funds for the school to support them with. And because the new model only allows for schools to have their needs reevaluated once every 3 years, the new school would most probably have all their funding allocated to kids already attending. This changes the arrival of a child with extra support needs at a school from something relatively easy to manage to somewhat of a financial liability for the new school. I don't like the idea that my child will be unwanted because s/he needs extra support that the school can't give due to lack of finances.
I really hope nothing happens that means we have to change schools!
2. The government has removed a few different categories of funding and replaced it with one lump of money they give to the school that the Principal has to use to cover everything that all the smaller amounts used to. The lump amount is generally less in practical terms, even though the Government has managed to make it look like more (in most cases) in the document they published. Then I have to wonder- if most schools look better off on paper, but are actually going to struggle to make ends meet to provide a similar level of support, what is going to happen in our little school that is actually worse off on paper???
3. Due to the fact that there is no specific ASD training provided to teachers or teachers aides (the few that will remain) it will be very difficult for schools to know what resources are appropriate to provide for our children. This means that either a) ASD specific resources will not be provided or b) if schools want to know what to provide, they'll have to employ the services of other professionals (Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, etc) to help them with this- and that will be paid for out of the money that the Government says will cover the cost of supporting the kids.
We need to make our objection to this initiative heard- It is a step backwards in the fight for equal educational opportunities for ASD kids.
Do not assume that it won't affect you! You may not have a child with a disability now, but that doesn't mean you never will. This change could affect you directly, or it could affect your nieces & nephews, your friend's children, your children's friends, or one day your grandchildren.
Please join me in petitioning the NSW Government and asking them to reconsider this funding change.