March 29, 2017
For Immediate Release

PC Opposition Proposes Summit on Inclusive Education;
Shocked as Ball Liberals Vote Down the Opportunity to Listen

David Brazil, Education Critic for the Official Opposition, brought a private member’s resolution to the House of Assembly on March 29 calling for a summit to discuss the challenges of inclusive education and constructive solutions with all stakeholders in education.

Brazil said, “It is absolutely shocking that the Ball Liberals voted down the opportunity that teachers, parents and students are crying out for – to have the challenges of inclusive education addressed publicly so the things that are not working are clearly identified and effective solutions are clearly identified. When the opposition parties and independent member are supportive and interested in finding solutions – the Liberals are not interested in hearing what people have to say about inclusive education or supporting the teachers and students who are trying to cope with the challenges of an education system in distress. The Minister is saying the time for listening is over.”

Brazil said, “Inclusive education is a major issue of concern for teachers, parents and students. Many teachers are telling us they are not getting the support they need to enable inclusive education to function effectively. Without that support, the quality of education of our students is being compromised, and teachers are being pushed to the breaking point.”

Tracey Perry, the Official Opposition Critic for Children, Seniors and Social Development, said, “While the Task Force on Improving Educational Outcomes gave people the opportunity to raise a broad range of educational issues, there were so many concerns on the table that inclusive education was competing for the attention it needed. What better way to address the challenges than at a public summit dedicated to the issue of inclusion, where all the problems and all the potential solutions can be considered openly.”

The resolution that the Liberals rejected stated: “Be it resolved that the House of Assembly urge the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to convene a public summit in 2017 to discuss the challenges of inclusive education and constructive solutions with the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association, the Faculty of Education of Memorial University, the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils, specialist educators, classroom/subject teachers, instructional resource teachers, student assistants, guidance counsellors, educational psychologists, program specialists for student support services, school administrators, parents, students, advocacy groups for persons with disabilities, other special interest groups, experts on inclusive education practices, legislators representing all parties in the House of Assembly and members of the general public.”

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Media Contact:
Heather MacLean
Director of Operations and Communications
Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105
heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca