Proposals to change special education funding to learning support needs to ensure access, equity, and sustained support, the Green Party said today.
Green MP Catherine Delahunty initiated a Select Committee Inquiry into dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders in schools in New Zealand that is due to report back in the next few weeks. The Inquiry has heard from hundreds of children and families about how hard it is to currently access genuine inclusion and resources for the children that need learning support.
“The Government is proposing to shift money around, and short change children and young people over the age of seven. Everything I have heard shows the need for more support, and more funding, across all age groups, not less,” Ms Delahunty said.
“This announcement by Minister Parata will do nothing to ensure that older children who need extra support will get it.
“Any proposal to reduce support for 18-21 year olds who need Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) support is a terrible idea. This transition time away from school is when young people need extra support, not less.
“Cutting support for young people and their families is cruel when demand for learning support services has increased so much.
“It was horrifying to hear during the Select Committee Inquiry of the desperate struggle that so many families are enduring to access help for their child to get an education.
“Many New Zealand families are picking up the pieces of a Government that are cutting too many essential services, and access to learning support services shouldn’t be one of them,” Ms Delahunty said.