OCSTA Welcomes Findings from OHRC Right to Read Inquiry
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO—February 28, 2022–OCSTA welcomes the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Right to Read Inquiry report released today. The report reflects the deep commitment that Catholic school boards share in ensuring that each student, regardless of exceptionality or learning challenge, has meaningful access to excellence in education, including the supports, services and instruction to allow them to fully realize their fullness of humanity,” said Patrick Daly, President of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA).
“We are pleased to see in the report some of the key issues and recommendations submitted to the inquiry panel by OCSTA. In our brief to the panel, and our ongoing advocacy to the government we have consistently stressed the importance of addressing the issue of special education underfunding. Catholic school boards are dedicated to meeting the needs of all students and most especially the increasing number of students with special education needs. Adequate and equitable funding based on actual need can ensure a sustainable structure for educating students of various abilities. The OHRC report has acknowledged the need to adequately fund special education programming and services at Ontario’s school boards and that is encouraging,” explained Mr. Daly.
“The shortage of special education teachers, speech and language therapists, health professionals, and psychologists is a significant challenge to many rural and northern boards across the province and this impacts the ability of boards in those regions to provide timely health and psychological assessments for students. We have advocated on these issues for many years and are pleased to see today’s report acknowledge the need to respond to the particular needs of these boards through the provision of added resources to address these shortages,” said Mr. Daly.
“Catholic school boards and their dedicated staff have a deep commitment to excellence in student faith formation, academic achievement and well-being. Literacy and reading programs for all students, including those with learning disabilities, is a foundational practice of Catholic boards and they strive to ensure the right assessments, instruction, supports and services are provided to all students.
Like our member boards, the OCSTA will be taking time to thoughtfully review the report and the recommendations contained in it. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Ministry of Education, Ontario Human Rights Commission and partners in education to support improvements to our provincial education system that will serve the best interests of all students,” added Mr. Daly.
The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association is the provincial voice for publicly funded Catholic education. Founded in 1930, OCSTA represents the interests of Catholic school boards that collectively educate approximately 600,000 students in Ontario, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12.
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