TORONTO — The Ontario government is supporting students with special education needs, along with their parents, through new investments and partnerships that will help them succeed in the classroom. The investments are part of the government’s overall plan to support learning recovery and renewal, and address the impacts of learning disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the government’s Priorities and Partnerships Funding (PPF) COVID-19 Equity Supports, Ontario’s new investments in special education include:
- $150,000 to Down Syndrome Association of Ontario (DSAO) to create digital and print content that supports parents, guardians and caregivers as their child with Down syndrome transitions through the school system
- $100,000 to Child Development Institute (CDI) to implement the Stop Now And Plan (SNAP) program and the Early Assessment Risk List (EARL) framework for children with behavioural issues, and in support of their families. SNAP teaches children effective emotion regulation, self-control and problem-solving skills and techniques
- $25,000 to Children at Risk for programs for children with autism to help develop their behavioural, communications and social skills.
“We are fully committed to improving educational outcomes and job prospects for students with special education needs, which is exactly why our government is funding new partnerships to better support children with Down syndrome, autism and other developmental and intellectual disabilities,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “Working together with our partners, we are giving hope to these children, relief to their families and building a brighter future for some of the most dynamic and affectionate children that are among the most vulnerable students in our schools.”
These investments build on historic funding announced last month to overcome the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of Ontario’s $26.1-billion Grants for Student Needs (GSN) for 2022-23, the province is increasing total Special Education Grant (SEG) funding to more than $3.25 billion for the 2022-23 school year, an investment of over $92 million to support students with special education needs. This is the highest amount ever provided in SEG funding.
The government is also expanding summer learning programs in 2022 to include $10 million in funding for programs for students with special education needs. And as part of Ontario’s plan to support student achievement and help them reach their full potential, the province is investing $8.32 million in PPF for early interventions in math for students with special education needs to help them prepare for a de-streamed curriculum.
This builds on increased investment in mental health supports to the highest levels ever recorded in Ontario’s history. In 2017-2018, the province invested $17.4 million for school-based mental health supports. Under Premier Ford, the Government is investing $90 million, which includes an additional $10 million for the 2022-2023 school year.