The Ministry of Education is using a review of special education to push for further cost cutting instead of hearing pleas to properly fund services, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“This fantastic opportunity to improve the lives of children with special needs has been lost on the Ministry.
“After being told by thousands of parents that students needed better resources, its action plan calls for a value for money assessment of the system to find further savings.
“This follows National cutting the number of early intervention teachers by 8 per cent since taking office, despite parents and teachers calling out for more resourcing in this area.
“There are now 41 fewer frontline special education staff since 2011 – while at the same time the Ministry has increased its public relations staff numbers by almost 200 per cent.
“That has enabled them to produce glossy documents about this review which ignore the fact they have been cutting resources in this area for years.
“Further cuts are not the answer.
“The Ministry’s approach is driven by Hekia Parata. She needs to show leadership here and ensure her officials do the right thing for special needs kids,” Chris Hipkins says.