Funding for school psychologists is welcome but should have arrived sooner

Apr 07, 2017

NSTU President Liette Doucet says news the government plans to invest almost $1 million dollars to reduce the wait list for school psychologists is welcome, but she wishes the funding would have arrived on schedule.

“This is welcome news and if the commitment is fulfilled it will certainly benefit the students currently on the wait list,” says Doucet. “But this funding would have had greater impact if it was delivered on time. Timely assessments assist teachers and students in supporting their educational plan. It’s unfortunate that so many students have been forced to wait over the last three years and have not been provided with the special needs’ support they deserve.

She is also concerned the government appears to want to outsource assessments instead of hiring more permanent school psychologists.

In its 2013 election platform the McNeil government promised to invest in more school psychologists to increase support for students with special needs. The commitment was scheduled to begin in year one of the government’s mandate, which was the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Doucet adds, “By not investing this money to hire permanent school psychologists the benefits could prove temporary. Once the funding runs out the list will just begin to grow again. The public needs to be aware that the funding does nothing to help students with special needs that have already been assessed. They still wait for the appropriate support and resources they require in the classroom.” 

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