While classes are overflowing with students in difficulty, a vast reform of the financing of the services dedicated to them is planned for the start of the 2023 school year, arousing a lot of hope, but also concerns in the school network.
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The Journal reported yesterday that in some classes, more than half of the students are in difficulty or have special needs.
The teachers, out of breath, are calling for changes to better take into account the needs of each student when composing the groups.
For its part, the Ministry of Education has been working for a few years now on a major reform of the funding of services for students with special needs, which will come into effect in 2023-2024.
In a letter recently sent to labor organizations, Quebec reiterates its intention to set in motion this major shift at the start of the school year.
Baptized "project 294" in the offices of the ministry, this reform aims to modify the conditions surrounding the granting of funding for students in difficulty, whose number amounts to nearly 250,000 according to the most recent data.
Currently, specific funding is granted to students with special needs on the basis of a diagnosis.
Quebec wants to establish new criteria for the allocation of funding in order to provide services to students more quickly without waiting for an evaluation in good and due form.
This reform is "awaited with great impatience" among the ranks of professionals in the school environment, who for years have denounced "inconsistencies" which "generate a lot of frustration", affirms Sophie Massé, vice-president of the Federation of professionals and Education Professionals of Quebec (FPPE-CSQ).
An autistic student, for example, can "generate" 10 to 15 hours of support services from a special education teacher. However, this student may not need this level of support if he is doing well in class, unlike a student in the room next door who has no diagnosis, but who is constantly having seizures. .
By putting aside the assessments and the paperwork that comes with it, professionals should be able to devote more time to prevention and intervention, which could also make the school network more attractive in a context of shortage, hopes Ms. Massé .
However, there are still a lot of strings to tie before this vast reform becomes a reality.
The pilot projects, announced by Quebec in about fifteen school service centers this year, had not yet started in October, however, according to information sent to the school network by the Ministry of Education.