BC PARENTS OF KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS ADVOCACY GROUP BC Parents of Kids with Special Needs - Access to Education is a group of about 525 parents in B.C. The group started just over one year ago with about 10 parents and has grown quickly thanks to their tireless efforts. They have been a driving force "behind" much of the media coverage and the Forced Out study. Some of their members were also involved in the restraint and seclusion guidelines when they were revised this year. They have a broad range of experience: members have fought the system, left the system, sued the system...you name it and they've got someone who can help with a situation. They have a very impressive infographic which tells it like it is  - take a look at https://equitableaccesstoeducation.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/sped-advocacy-infographic-1.jpeg?w=656&h=1875  They run a quiet, less public group on Facebook - by invitation only. For more information or to join, please visit https://equitableaccesstoeducation.wordpress.com/

The Parent Advocacy Network (PAN), in conjunction with Families Against Cuts to Education (FACE), is targeting the provincial government with a goal to deliver hundreds of paper postcards - campaign well underway - and thousands of online signatures from citizens declaring “I Stand with the Standing Committee” Our goal is to make a bulk delivery of both signed postcards and online signatures to the Minister of Education demonstrating that parents will be holding his government accountable to adequately fund public education.  We need your help in spreading the word!  We hope that you will join us by sharing the link below with fellow parents, neighbours, family and friends and through your own social networkshttp://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/305/769/792/

The all-party provincial Select Standing Committee on Finance & Government Services Report of Budget 2016 Consultations found - for the second year in a row - that the top priority for British Columbians is K-12 education funding. Sadly, these have previously been ignored. They cannot be ignored in Budget 2016! The Select Standing Committee on Finance & Government Services recommendations:

1. Provide adequate capital funding to school districts for facility improvements/seismic upgrades/additional schools

2. Provide stable, sustainable and adequate funding to enable school districts to fulfill responsibilities to continue to provide access to quality public education, with recognition of the increased costs school districts have incurred.

3. Review the Ministry of Education funding formula for programs and services, as well as administrative staff compensation levels to ensure adequate and competitive compensation.

Sign the online card petition NOW and "Stand with the Standing Committee"!  Thank you for helping spread the word! The more signatures we gain, the stronger our collective voice!  Together we can make a difference!

NEW CURRICULUM IN BC SCHOOLS:  When the kids return to the classroom, they will experience a new curriculum.  Here's a few related links:  Ministry of Education official website for the New Curriculum and "New BC Curriculum will have Aboriginal focus," The Globe and Mail.

"PARENTS WANT AUTISM COMMITMENT: One in 68 campaign gets political this federal election," is an article published Sept. 23, 2015, in the Vancouver Courier. Simon Fraser parent, Sherri Brown, shares her family's story with autism in the article. Sherri is also an advocate for families needing support when it comes to gaining access to resources for children with needs. Find out more at Project Bearings.

FACE: Families Against Cuts to Education presented to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services in Sept. 2015. Simon Fraser parent and our school's DPAC rep, Jen Stewart, co-founded the organization during the school strike that occurred June-September 2014. The group posted this essay, "What Public Education Needs from BC Budget 2016," on Sept. 21, 2015.