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Issue 5 | Friday, April 6, 2018

Connecting the dots across
13 education systems

Early Childhood Education (ECE), Special Education and school infrastructure all top-of-mind in provincial education budgets

Early Childhood Education (ECE), Special Education and school infrastructure all top-of-mind in provincial education budgets

 

Ontario’s ECE investments will offer no-cost childcare in 2020

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that full-day licensed childcare will be offered at no cost starting in 2020, for preschool children aged two-and-a-half until they’re eligible to start Kindergarten. This is part of a $2.2-billion plan over three years to expand access to affordable childcare, with estimated parental savings of $17,000 per child, per year. Opponents have criticized the initiative as a last ditch effort to win votes before a springtime election, as well as of not extending eligibility to children under the age of two-and-a-half, especially for women returning to work following maternity leaves. In contrast, Professor Susan Prentice of the University of Manitoba finds the announcement represents a shift in the conversation towards viewing early childhood education as an investment in economic growth and prosperity. Three University of Toronto scholars also welcomed the announcement, but question whether the government will commit to implementing baseline quality and safety standards for childcare.

#onpoli

N.W.T. to receive over $7M for ECE

The federal government announced over $7M over three year for ECE and care in the Northwest Territories, which is part of a larger investment of $7.5-billion by the Government of Canada to invest in childcare across the country. N.W.T.’s $7M will support new and existing daycare centres while investing in early childhood educators through a new college diploma program, greater training, and a scholarship program.

#nwtpoli #NWT


The feds have unveiled an official languages policy that will support minority-language ECE services

The Government of Canada launched its Action Plan for Official Languages in support of community-driven revitalization efforts within official-language minority communities across the country. This funding of $500M over five years comes in addition to $2.2-billion over five years that had already been designated to community organizations. This plan includes support for French-language education through training for French teachers, supporting cultural activities in schools, attracting Francophone immigration in minority areas, and $20M to support training for early childhood educators in French in minority communities while investing in entrepreneurs in opening more ECE centres.

@melaniejoly #cdnpoli #OfficialLanguages #polcan #frcan #languesofficielles

Ontario also invests in special needs education

Ontario’s Liberal Government is also proposing a $300M investment in special needs education in its 2018-2019 budget to support the elimination of wait lists for children with special needs to be assessed, as well as hiring new teachers and educational staff including social workers and speech pathologists. $140M will be dedicated to hiring guidance counsellors. Heidi Bernhardt, president of the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada, has stated that this funding is not enough, because the Ministry and many school boards do not recognize students with ADHD as qualifying for special education resources and services. Trustee Natalie Waddell of Waterloo Region District School Board agrees.

#onpoli #ADHD

Ontario schools are receiving $784M for infrastructure makeovers

Ontario’s 2018-2019 budget, through its capital investments for education initiative, includes $784M for new buildings and additions to 79 schools. A further $2.8-billion over this year and the next will go towards building upgrades and renovations. Parent advocacy group Fix Our Schools cites a $15.9-billion backlog in maintenance repairs and has launched a pledge in support of an Ontario-wide “State of Good Repair Standard.”  

#FixOurSchools #onpoli

Other funding initiatives:

Budget 2018: Newfoundland and Labrador investing $2 billion in education, skill and childhood development (The Gulf News) #nflpoli

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Services de garde : 95 millions pour aider les familles défavorisées

Nouveau budget du Québec : vers un accès meilleur et gratuit aux garderies pour les familles défavorisées

Le gouvernement québécois a annoncé la semaine dernière que 95 millions de dollars seront investis afin d’améliorer l’accès aux services de garde pour les familles provenant de milieux défavorisés. Plus précisément, les prestataires de l’aide sociale pourront, dès le mois d’août 2018, bénéficier d’une couverture les permettant d’envoyer leurs enfants à des centres de la petite enfance ou à des garderies subventionnées gratuitement cinq jours par semaine, et ce, au lieu d’une couverture de 2,5 jours au maximum. En Ontario, la première ministre du Parti libéral Kathleen Wynne a de même annoncé que les services de garde seront offerts gratuitement à compter de 2020. Cette initiative s’inscrit dans le cadre d’un plan d’action sur trois ans valorisé à hauteur de 2,2 milliards de dollars, qui permettra aux familles d’économiser 17 000 $ par enfant chaque année.

#RéussiteÉducative #polqc #Assnat

 

Les écoles québécoises encore en mauvais état

Un nouveau processus d’inspection mis en oeuvre l’année dernière révèle que 55 % des écoles primaires et 47% des écoles secondaires sont considérées comme étant en mauvais ou très mauvais état. Ces chiffres se situent aux antipodes des statistiques communiquées il y a un an, où le portrait a été plutôt positif, constatant que 62 % des écoles primaires et 75 % des écoles secondaires étaient en bon état. Le nouveau budget du gouvernement québécois prévoit en réponse des investissements de 16,2 milliards de dollars destinés à la rénovation, l’entretien et la construction de nouvelles écoles. Le ministre de l’Éducation Sébastien Proulx a constaté lors de son annonce budgétaire mardi dernier que ce processus de rénovation prendra de nombreuses années et que les commissions scolaires, qui ont reçu plus de 1 milliard de dollars à ce jour, auront besoin de plus de temps pour planifier les travaux exigés.

#RéussiteÉducative #polqc #Assnat

 

Lab-école québécois

“Closing the Gap” for Newcomers and At-Risk Youth

 

Newcomer and refugee student settlement programs spearheaded in Manitoba and New Brunswick

Manitoba Education and Training is seeking to fill gaps in services and programming for student refugee claimants who are ineligible for certain federally funded settlement services. Manitoba has launched a request for proposals to organizations who can meet identified needs. In New Brunswick, CBC News showcased 20-year-old twelfth-grade student Muhammed Reyis, who arrived as a refugee from Syria two years ago, and who was offered a scholarship-based acceptance to pursue engineering studies at the University of New Brunswick.

#cdnimm #newcomerswelcome #MBBudget2018

Using music education for equity in Saskatchewan and NB

Using music education for equity in Saskatchewan and NB

CBC’s Changemakers series showcased the Saskatchewan-based Bridge: Music Learning for Life program for at-risk and low-income youth, many of whom are newcomers and ESL. Bridge offers extra-curricular music lessons during lunch hours while leveraging a learning-by-ear approach to overcome language barriers, for youth who otherwise may not have the opportunity to take formal music lessons. Ontario’s Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has also reinforced its support for music education by ensuring that each student across its 42 schools has the opportunity to study music with qualified teachers. According to a 2017 study by People for Education, only 41% of Ontario’s schools have trained music teachers.
 

Other “Closing the Gap” Initiatives

More financial literacy coming to Saskatchewan classrooms (Global News)

Mi’kmaq considering proposal for a people’s college (The Chronicle Herald)

Learning and living in two worlds: An Elder’s journey (Regina Leader-Post)

'Indspired' to use the power of education to heal and renew (University of Victoria News)

B.C. heads to Europe to recruit French teachers

EVOLVING STORY

B.C. heads to Europe to recruit French teachers

Check out our March 22nd newsletter to get up-to-speed on the B.C. teacher shortage saga: B.C. school districts take teacher shortage crisis into their own hands

B.C. continues to deal with a serious teacher shortage for in-demand subject areas, especially French immersion teachers. The province’s education ministry has even sent a delegation to Europe in an effort to establish government-to-government agreements that would promote teacher mobility and exchanges with France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Canadian Parents for French (B.C.-Yukon) Executive Director Glyn Lewis underlined the nation-wide issue of French teacher shortages, reasoning that provinces are now competing with each other for coveted and elusive French-speaking teachers.

Inclusive Education Report in Nova Scotia

Inclusive Education Report in Nova Scotia

Check out our February 22 and March 8 newsletters to get up-to-speed on Nova Scotia’s school system reform.

An independent Commission on Inclusive Education in Nova Scotia, established in March 2017, has released a final report indicating that the program is under strain and requires increased funding to support students with learning challenges. This is the first time the program has been evaluated in 20 years. Recommendations include accelerating student assessments, behaviour intervention, and more funding to hire 600 to 700 specialists including behaviour support teachers, school psychologists, and regional health nurses. Jim Vibert, in an editorial for The Chronicle Herald, found the report to be honest and clearly articulating of the problems within the province’s school system. A mother of a child on the autism spectrum has, however, questioned whether the recommended funding amount will be enough for a complete system overhaul.

#nspoli  #NSed #NSBudget18 @InclusiveEdNS

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Gérer le comportement des élèves : y a-t-il des limites à l’inclusion scolaire?

Dans un reportage de Marco Fortier paru dans Le Devoir la semaine dernière, le modèle d’intégration scolaire du Québec, qui vise à intégrer les élèves handicapés ou ayant des difficultés d’adaptation ou d’apprentissage (HDAA) dans des classes ordinaires, a été mis en question, et ce, en racontant l’histoire d’une psychoéducatrice qui a été hospitalisée après avoir été frappée par un élève de maternelle. L’incident est survenu dans une école dans le quartier Montréalais de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, où les élèves parlent 33 langues et proviennent de 55 pays, dont certains d'entre eux ont fui de la guerre et des situations traumatisantes. En réponse, la journaliste controversée Denise Bombardier a rédigé un éditorial dans lequel elle constate que les enseignants québécois ne sont pas formés pour enseigner à « ces enfants venus d’ailleurs ». Julia Druliolles, commissaire à la Commission scolaire de Montréal, a stipulé en revanche qu’il est la responsabilité de l’école de s’adapter à l’enfant, et non l’inverse.

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