Budget Cuts and Special Needs Services: How New Power Can Solve the Issue

by MoJo JoJo on April 28, 2015 - 12:15am

Raising a child with special needs is not an easy task. Despite the complexity of the task, parents manage to raise their children with the help of government services. However, due to the recent budget cuts, the only special-needs preschool in  Windsor is forced to cease operations after nearly four decades of service. As reported in the Windsor Star by Craig Pearson on April 5th 2015, the care center was more than a babysitting service for daytime hours. It allowed children to interact with each other in a safe environment and develop creativity. With the closing of the center, many vulnerable children will be left with their parents without any external support.

            Interestingly, the closing of the center is not the issue that concerns people. Instead, parents are more concerned by the lack of government services available to middle class families with special needs children. In tough economic times, when budgets are cut, public services for special needs children are usually the first to be discontinued. The closing of this care facility highlights a recent trend of more expensive and rarer services being offered to parents. Although there is some government funding involved, only the few families that qualify for it can benefit from it. This issue can only be solved through more awareness as this issue does not get enough media coverage. Through new power, this issue can be improved on multiple fronts. For instance, by increasing collaboration and the sharing of power between government bodies and communities, a better understanding of the community’s needs can be achieved and thus, public funds would be spent in more useful sectors that benefit all. In fact, instead of cutting funds intended for special needs children, the government can cut the money from a less important sector. Through mass participation of regular citizens of society in pressure tactics, entire government bodies would be forced to change their decisions to one that satisfies the greater public. Also, this issue does not get reported on enough and thus, public awareness is very low. By mobilizing people to manifest their interest in the issue, the situation can be changed. These examples of new power are just a few of many as new power has endless potential to create changes in the world.

            To read the full article that was summarized above, follow this link: http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/special-needs-preschool-program-to-close-families-have-nowhere-to-turn.

Comments

Thanks for shedding a light on the topic, education for those who have special needs is very important. It is disappointing that this issue was not reported more. Analyzing this situation through a deontological perspective, it is understandable why the government had to withdraw funding from this school. In deontology, if the means are good intended, then the result does not matter. According to the article you referenced, the Ontario Ministry of Education was no longer able to provide the funds for this program, only charging $36.00 for the program. After trying to raise the fees to $75.00 to cover the necessary costs, the number of potential students dropped from 92 to 27.
The Ministry of Education attempted to keep the program active for as long as possible before the number of applicants dropped. Despite their efforts to keep the project alive, it was terminated. The Ministry truly hoped for the program to be successful and are deemed to have used ethical means to do so according to deontology. The end result of the closure of the program was unavoidable due to high costs of keeping the program running and low fees for applicants. Although they reached an desirable end, their actions are still characterized as "good" since the means to the end were well intended.

I agree that we should spread awareness on this issue because not many people are aware in the first place. Cutting funds for people who need it the most is immoral since these children need the services provided by the preschool. The government needs to take into account the consequences of removing services for kids with disabilities. In the perspective of a utilitarian, there are less people being benefited from the budget cut then those that actually are benefited(the government), which needs to change. In regards to politics, it is very difficult to elect someone that will always stick by their promises. I agree that changing who has the power will allow for this issue to be resolved, but we also have to take into account that politicians do not always deliver. Also, sharing the power between the government body and communities calls for cooperation, which is not guaranteed. However, I do believe that the most effective way to solve this problem is to cut funding from sectors that need money the less and that won't harm people to the same extent as reducing services for disabled children.