GCABC feedback to the Ministry of Education

During spring 2018, the GCABC board continued our advocacy work, with an overall aim of promoting gifted education with equitable access for all children regardless of their background.

We would like to highlight the following dates and events: 

On February 14, 2018, the Minister of education presented an Independent Review Panel to review the K-12 Public Education Funding Allocation System (FAS). Chris Trumpy was appointed as Chair, leading the work of the panel in reviewing the current FAS to move BC’s public-school system to “a better, stable, and sustainable model”. Since it was uncertain what this meant for gifted learners, the GCABC established contact with this group, indicating our interest in being a key stakeholder during the process, and wanting to provide feedback on the work and conclusions of the panel.

On March 28, 2018, GCABC Director Maureen McDermid and parent Peter Cech participated in a meeting with Patricia Kovacs, Coordinator, Inclusive Education for Learning Supports and Early Years. During a two-hour conversation, Maureen was able to explain why many gifted students are not being identified in the province, and why this is leaving many with unmet educational needs.

On April 7, 2018, the GCABC board was pleased to welcome Linda Reid, MLA from Richmond and former teacher, who gave the opening remarks of the parent conference, Power Up Potential.

On April 29, 2018,  the GCBAC board submitted a written report, and was subsequently invited to a conference call with the panel. Other stakeholder reports can also be found on the Ministry website.

On May 22nd, 2018, GCABC Directors Maureen McDermid and Debbie Clelland spoke with the panel Chair and a community member of the panel, who heard our concerns about the numbers of gifted students declining, the change to psycho-educational assessments for identification, the need for reporting multiple exceptionalities and the money needed for teacher training and programs. GCABC also informed the panel about school districts with successful practices to support gifted students.

The funding model review will be completed in the summer/fall of 2018. The contacts and meetings that took place during spring 2018 were all constructive and positive.

Updates from this process will be posted on the GCABC website. Questions about the funding review panel can be sent to Ministry of Education (k12fundingreview@gov.bc.ca).