Education minister unmoved by special education protests

Education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt is not going to change her plans to overhaul the education of children with special needs, despite widespread protests from parents and schools.

The minister plans to cut the budget for educational help by €300m to €3.4bn by 2012 and give decisions about how the money should be spent to local authorities rather than parents.
Opposition parties on Wednesday demanded prime minister Mark Rutte come to parliament to debate the changes. That debate is due to take place on Thursday.
‘It is incomprehensible that the minister is persisting in going ahead with plans which will hurt the most vulnerable pupils,’ ChristenUnie MP Joël Voordewind is quoted as saying by Nos television.
Meanwhile, some 150,000 people have signed an online petition against the plans. They claim the cuts will lead to 6,000 job losses, largely among classroom assistants who help special needs children to attend ordinary schools.

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