A Moncton mother who sent her daughter with learning disabilities to a private school after she says she the public system wouldn’t help her wants the province to help pay for the tuition fees.
Sherry Leger says Alyna, her 11-year-old daughter, is very bright but faces learning challenges, including dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.
Leger tried for years to get proper education support through the public school system but it never seemed to work.
“If Alyna were to stay in the public school system they way it was going university or college was not even an option,” she said.
“The only support we got was she was taken out with a resources teacher for about 20 minutes a day.”
She says Alyna was getting so frustrated in class and developed severe anxiety.
In an attempt get the Alyna the help she needed, Leger sent her daughter to a private community school called Riverbend that specializes in teaching children with learning difficulties.
“I learned much better than my other schools I went to” said Alyna.
While Alyna is now thriving, the family has had to make a lot of sacrifices to pay the $11,000 per year tuition.
Unlike many other provinces in Canada, New Brunswick does not supplement the cost of private schools for students with learning disabilities.
“Alyna is no longer in the public school system. Have our taxes decreased because of that?” she asked.
Leger says they’ve considered moving to Nova Scotia, where the province subsidizes tuition for schools that specialize in teaching kids with learning struggles.
In some cases they’ll cover up to 90 per cent of the associated fees.
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Response from the government
Danielle Elliott, an officer for the New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, says that when parents choose to leave the public school system they assume the responsibility of providing an education.
“Which includes both cost and resources,” Elliott wrote in an email to Global News.
Leger says that’s unacceptable and she wants the money she paid in taxes to be given back to her.
“They are still taking my money for my child to be in public school but she is not there anymore so where is that money going?” she said.
Leger says she is not ending her fight and she plans to to contact her local MLA who she hopes will help fight for her daughter’s right to what she calls an effective education for her daughter and others like her.