A Canadian school is turning away two students with disabilities for a pretty shocking reason. According to a letter from a Calgary Catholic school, 2 disabled students won't be allowed to graduate from high school due to lack of funding. Officials are now asking the education minister to intervene.
Two, non-verbal students who will turn 18 this fall were previous attendees of a Catholic high school in Calgary. The families of the two students were hoping they could return to complete a fourth year of high school as part of the Education Support II program (ES II); which is for students who may have significant communication and motor deals that could require one-on-one support.
While the School Act states that students under 19 as of September 1st are entitled to access education in the province, a letter from the Calgary Catholic School District to two parents says otherwise.
The letter, which was obtained and posted by Sarah Hoffman, Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic for Education, states that the students will not be allowed to return to the school.
The letter sent to the two families has since been posted on Twitter. In one letter sent to a family, it states that the daughter, who has already completed grade 12, is not allowed back for another year of the same grade.
It states that the district does not have sufficient resources and facilities to accommodate the students.
The letter lists a number of reasons for denying their re-entry, including that parents are aware that making a request for their child's enrolment is dependent upon whether there is sufficient resources and facilities available.
Altogether, the letter gives seven reasons as to why their child cannot attend the school. Most of which, cover reasons to do with lack of funding and how current funding must be allotted to current students in grades nine to 11.
“We cannot accommodate continued enrolment of graduating ES III high school students beyond grade 12 where non-graudating ES II students will be deprived access to their respective educational program,” writes the letter.
According to the Calgary Sun, the Calgary Catholic School board is predicting about a two per cent budget shortfall next year.
Felicia Zuniga, a spokesperson with Calgary Catholic Schools, told the Calgary Sun that protocols are in place to work with parents and their requests for appeals on decisions like this. Out of the two students, one family has appealed.