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Ontario Hansard - 12-June2006

Mr. Frank Klees (Oak Ridges): Last week, the Minister of Education announced that the government is making new investments in special education reforms. After five months of sitting on the so-called special education transformation report, the government finally found time to share it with the people of Ontario. It is unfortunate that once again they are throwing money out the door in an attempt to alleviate the guilt of not living up to their commitments.

I commend the hard work of the advisory panel and all their time and effort to provide this government with the advice to help students in Ontario with special needs. But sadly, the government has made very little in the way of true commitments. The minister was short on detail as to how the government plans to ensure that funds are in fact used to help children with special needs. Again, this minister has left parents in the dark.

There are countless examples of school boards being forced into siphoning special education funds to fill gaps in other parts of their budgets. What is needed is for this government to adequately fund the new programs and commitments they announce with such fanfare. But they continue to fall short. Today's announcement by the minister, spun as a giant step toward transforming the funding formula, just perpetuates the government's habit of new targeted funding commitments while ignoring the growing funding crisis in school boards across the province. We call on this minister to assume her leadership responsibility. Stop campaigning, get on with --

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