April 7, 2022
Funding Increase Will Provide Student-Specific Supports, Including Educational Assistants, Specialized Programming: Ewasko
The Manitoba government is investing in supports for the education system by providing an additional $7 million for students with special needs, Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko announced today.
“We know there have been impacts on learning during the pandemic and this funding reflects the high priority the provincial government places on special needs education for Manitobans,” said Ewasko. “This increase for the upcoming school year will support students with special needs to provide student-specific supports determined by school teams, such as increased access to behaviour specialist supports, specialized programming or educational assistants.”
Ensuring learning continues throughout the pandemic while prioritizing safety and health has been a priority of the government and the education system, noted Ewasko. This funding will provide all Manitoba school divisions an increase in their Special Needs Level 2 and 3 funding, which can be used to provide student-specific supports to help address special learning needs. Divisions will not be required to submit applications, with some exceptions.
“The Student Services Administrators’ Association of Manitoba is committed to providing provincial leadership and informed advocacy to support appropriate educational programming for all students,” said Kendra Gowler, president, Student Services Administrators’ Association of Manitoba. “Today’s announcement is important, as it is about investing in education so all children have an opportunity to access appropriate educational programming.”
The minister noted government is also committed to doing an updated school funding review, which is currently underway.
In addition to the special needs funding announced today, the upcoming intake of the Teachers’ Idea Fund will focus on projects that promote mental health and well-being for students and educators.
Proposals will focus on programming that support strategies to promote mental health including:
- talking about mental health;
- training for teachers;
- incorporating mental health into teaching;
- providing appropriate tools and supports for students; and
- taking care of teachers and school staff.
More details on the application process will be shared in the coming weeks.
“The global pandemic has been a significant and prolonged event impacting all Manitobans and is the most significant event the school system has ever experienced, both in Manitoba and around the world,” said Ewasko. “We will continue to work with school divisions and other education partners both inside and outside government to ensure staff and students have access to the supports they need.”
The minister noted the department continues to work with school divisions to focus planning and reporting for the 2022-23 school year on how the pandemic has affected student learning and well-being. This feedback from divisions will be used to develop a long-term provincial recovery learning response plan.
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