“They are anticipating (job losses) April 1, with the first wave of kids” as the provincial changes come into effect, said one, noting a number of small and regional service agencies have told staff they will be let go.
Meanwhile, school boards are appealing to the province for some direction — and resources — saying children no longer accessing therapy at autism centres will expect those services to be provided in schools.
Both Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod and Education Minister Lisa Thompson have received letters from school boards, with Halton District School Board trustees saying they are “gravely concerned about the changes” — and that they need to know what the government’s implementation plan is. Without one, and additional funding, student safety is compromised, they say.
But NDP Education Critic Marit Stiles called it “disturbing” that school boards haven’t received any word from the ministry.
“Boards are telling us there has been absolutely no communication around the situation,” said Stiles, a former school trustee.
“Things were tough enough,” she told the Star. “School boards already spend more than they are given for special education, and it comes through other funds. They are just moving shells around.”