I don't think it's going to be enough to have a half-hearted promise from this or the next Minister of Education to increase funding within the current model
They're not even doing that. Inclusion is now one of the three strategic focus areas of the Ministry of Education - alongside the achievement of Maori and Pasifika students - but this focus has no funding attached. However I agree that increasing the funding within the current model will never lead to real change.
Okay, I must not be reading you right. Apologies.
That does kind of help his performance :).
He consistently meets the national standard in aliveness.
I get that. Like I said your argument is correct. But I don't believe it is an argument that can result in a change in policy. Neither Nat nor Lab have shown any signs of doing what's right just 'cos. Instead they both respond to arguments that target revenue and/or cost, functionally both parties are simple minded accountants.
I'm not terribly interested in working with them. What's needed is a revolution. I have my personal model for this, which is the radical reform of the mental health sector in Italy in the 1970s. No reason why we couldn't demand a change of that magnitude.
It is CHEAPER for the country to spend extra money to educate for the dozen or so years that a person receives education than to have to provide more support for the rest of their lives.
I don't like this argument. If for no other reason that it justifies not supporting the work or education choices of disabled adults, on the basis that by then they are a lost cause. I don't want the state to educate my daughter so she can become a productive member of society and cost less to the taxpayer in the long run. I want the state to educate my daughter because she has the right to an education just like everybody else. It's about social opportunity, not economic efficiency.
But the ONLY reason for wanting your child to have a teacher aide is to allow your child to perform better. Isn't that we want our parents to do? What possible personal gain is there for the parent?
We have two neurotypical children with no special learning needs. Are you suggesting they would benefit from having a teacher aide? I really don't think they would. (In fact one of them has a teacher aide due to a medical condition and we've been pretty clear about the fact she shouldn't interfere with his education. Just check he stays alive.)
Because resources are not unlimited and all needs are not currently being met.
Sacha I love you but this sentence right here? It makes no sense. The fact that all needs are not currently being met is the crisis that should make us rethink how we distribute resources. And to say that resources are not unlimited is tantamount to saying that resources need to be capped, which I thought you were against. The reality is that we treat a lot of resources as if they were unlimited even in the absence of crises. It's true that the money comes from somewhere else, but that is an issue of overall political priorities, not of priorities within disability education. We could spend less on roads, less on private schools, less to bail out finance companies, less on film industry subsidies - so long as we made the political decision of regarding equity of outcomes in education more important than or at least as important as those other things.
including how any priorities are determined and maintained.
I still don't know why you want to prioritise anything. We teach our children literacy and maths. Strategic goals very within that, but we don't prioritise literacy over maths, or teaching maths to some children over teaching maths to others. Why should the right to accessing the curriculum of some children have priority over the right of others?
There will never be unlimited public budgets. How will prioritisation happen?
if you can show me how the right to education of one child is greater than the right to education of another child, then we'll prioritise between them. Otherwise, our priority may just have to be to build fewer motorways.
The medical profession should not be the gatekeepers of that.
Neither should ministry of education accountants, or NZQA bureaucrats.
(Sometimes I like to tell people in Group Special Education that back home you can self-certify that your child has an intellectual disability and receive automatic support, just to see how they react. You can write that your child is autistic on the back of a napkin, I'll say for instance. Their response varies, but basically always seems to uncover the bizarre and completely unfounded assumption that there a lot of people out there who would fake an intellectual disability in their children just so they can get a teacher aide.)
But far too simple an idea.
My idea is pretty simple. You take a child, any child. I don't care if they have an officially recognised disability. You enrol them into their school and the teachers and the family assess what obstacles there are, if any, for that child to fully participate in the curriculum. It may be nothing, or it may be the need for ESL tuition, or there may be an environmental factor, or the child may have specific learning needs that require a speech therapist or a teaching assistant and so forth. Then you apply for that support, and the standard response from the ministry has to be that they give it to you, unless they can demonstrate that the support is not needed or is already provided. Put the onus on them, and make it hard and expensive for them to say no.