Ontario’s school principals are asking the Ford government to delay changes to the province’s autism program that would slash benefits to thousands of parents and bring students with special needs into the school system without the support they require.

principals-logosIn a report in The Globe and Mail, education reporter Caroline Alphonso says the heads of the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC), the Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario (CPCO) and Association des directions et des directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO) asked Education Minister Lisa Thompson to delay the cuts.

“If the necessary resources are not or will not be available by April 1, then we urge the government to delay the implementation of this decision until it can ensure that schools will be able to meet their legislative responsibilities for all students,” the letter said.

The cutbacks will mean that parents of students who attend school for part of a week and receive therapy on other days could be forced to put them in schools full time.

“They [the principals] aren’t sure what it’s going to look like,” OPC President Larry O’Malley said in an interview with Alphonso. “Are there going to be additional resources to support these students who are returning on a full-time basis?”

Andrea Horwath

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath: autism-program funding cuts are “irresponsible.” (Photo: Shawn Goldberg /

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said it was irresponsible for the government to make changes to the program without providing the support needed to offset the cutbacks.

“All of these things destabilize the education system. That’s not fair to children, that’s not fair to their parents, and that’s not fair to educators and other educational workers in the system,” she said.

For more information, please follow this link to read the entire article in The Globe and Mail.