How long can people keep pretending that nothing is wrong with the health of our children?
Every day I find more stories of the end of childhood as we know it.
Here are some recent examples.
July 25, 2017, UK Daily Mirror: Inside the school for children excluded at SEVEN - including boy who nearly broke teacher's back
…He is one of a growing number of young children who have been permanently excluded from primary schools because of their bad and often violent behaviour, left feeling isolated, unwanted and alone. …
Figures released by the Department of Education this month show that the number of children being excluded has risen every year for the last three. In 2015-16 around 35 children a day were expelled from schools in England, and a total of 1,185 children were excluded from primary school.
Of these 475 were under seven and 50 were four.
In this article, five of the six children talked about were boys. ADHD and autism were also mentioned.
Meanwhile, our schools are havens for the disabled.
July 25, 2017, The Conversation (Cambridge, MA): Helping your students with disabilities prepare for the future
A wide range of disabilities on college campuses
According to a 2016 report by the United States Department of Education, approximately 11 percent of all undergraduates report having a disability – up from 6 percent almost two decades prior. Since nearly two-thirds of all students who received special education services in high school did not self-disclose their disability to a college, the actual number of students with disabilities on campuses is likely much higher.
Most of these students have what are often called “nonvisible” disabilities, including learning disabilities, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and, increasingly, mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression.
Students with autism spectrum disorders are also more often attending college than a decade ago. And on some campuses, programs are emerging for students with intellectual disabilities.
Now some people might think of this as more inclusion of those previously excluded. Or, like myself, some may just figure that as more and more kids are found to have behavioral or learning problems, a number of them are likely to show up in college.
July 24, 2017, Independent (Ireland): 'He has the same right to an education as every other child' - Jack (12) who has autism facing home-tuition because there are no school places
A mum fears her 12-year-old son who has autism will regress due to the fact that she can't place him in a secondary school anywhere in Dublin or Kildare.
Jack Cullen is due to start second level this September and needs to attend a school with am ASD unit or a class for children with special needs.
His mum, Karen Kavanagh, began searching for schools in September 2015 when she was given a list of 11 schools by the HSE.
These were schools in Dublin and Kildare that were able to meet his needs.
However due to the schools being at capacity she has not been able to secure a place. If there is no place found a home-tutor will be provided.
July 23, 2017, Sedalia (MO) Democrat: Sedalia 200 Board of Education to vote on policies for upcoming year
The district is also continuing to see an increase in the number of special services students.
“Our numbers continue to increase in the district’s special education program,” Pollitt said. “We receive a large percentage of students who qualify for services from the Co-op (Pettis County Early Childhood Cooperative).
“The number of students who receive for those services who graduate continues to increase each year but we are continuing to have more students who qualify each year as well,” Pollitt added. “Typically we add about 30 students who qualify for services each year.”
July 21, 2017, Independent (Ireland): McGrath defends spending on special needs
Children with special needs were "left behind for too long" and should be facilitated in mainstream schools, Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath has said.
He was responding to a spending review which shows the Department of Education is now spending more on special needs resources than higher education.
The report highlighted a 83pc rise in the diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between 2011 and 2016. …
"While significant improvements have been made to special education provision in the past 15 years, the historical reality of under-provision in this area means that even today we were still playing catch-up," he added.
July 21, 2017, Cape Gazette (Lewes, DE): Cape increases school tax rate
Taxpayers face $64 hike to pay for special education
The Cape Henlopen school board approved a 27-cent increase in the tax rate July 13, primarily to cover increasing costs for special education for six district students. …
July 21, 2017, (Franklin, VA) Tidewater News: Law requires mental health training for Virginia school counselors
More than 20 percent of children in the U.S. have or have had depression or other serious mental disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Soon, school counselors in Virginia will be in a better position to help identify students with such problems. Beginning July 1, a new state law requires school counselors to receive more training in the recognition of mental health disorders and behavioral distress.
July 21, 2017, Scoop.co.nz, Independent News (New Zealand): Educators welcome Labour's plan to fix public education
…"More and more children are coming to school with complex additional needs that we are not resourced to meet. …
July 20, 2017, PennLive.com: Pensions, special education and debt: why are these three school districts raising taxes much higher than their peers?
Rising pension and special education costs also contributed to the need for a tax increase, Moyer said. …
Not only has the number of students in the district increased by 660 in the past five years, the district also has seen a notable increase in the number of students who are homeless, have special needs, …
And for the first time, we are adding $25 million in funding to increase compensation to school districts for the costs of educating students with extraordinary special education needs.
July 19, 2017, The Spokane Spokesman Review: Spokane schools suspension rate drops, but disproportionality remains
Overall, Spokane Public Schools suspension rates have dropped 31 percent over the past two years, according to data collected by the district.
However, certain groups of students continue to be suspended at a disproportionate rate. …
Students who qualified for free and reduced-price lunch accounted for 88 percent of all district suspensions, while only making up 56 percent of the student population. Students qualifying for special education accounted for 36 percent of all district suspensions while only making up 14 percent of the district’s student population. …
…Eighty-six kindergartners were suspended a total of 225 times this year. Compare that to 58 high school students being suspended 63 times.
July 19, 2017, Des Moines Register: Ruling could expand special education services to more Iowa students
A legal judgment could force Iowa schools to change how they determine which students qualify for special education, potentially allowing thousands of more children to qualify for services, advocates say.
July 19, 2017, Rochester (NY) City Newspaper: Frustrated board wrestles with special ed
Elliott's report raised challenging questions for the school board. Why, for instance, have referrals for special education shot up by a whopping 93 percent during the last few years, while the district's enrollment has declined? The large number of special education referrals is overwhelming the district's ability to manage them, Elliott said.
And why does the district's special education enrollment hover at nearly 20 percent, when the national average for large school districts is around 12 percent?
July 18, 2017, WNMU FM, Marquette, MI: MAPS faces budget deficit next year
Superintendent Bill Saunders says aid is increasing by about $120 per student—or 1.5 percent—but that won’t make up for increases in employee salaries, insurance rates, and utility costs. He says last year also saw a decline in enrollment of about 60 students, as they’re not necessarily staying in the district from kindergarten to graduation.
Saunders says he’s always asked why the district is building more elementary rooms when enrollment has been down.
“With the increase in the number of students that we’re enrolling in our early childhood special education program, some other special education programs,…
July 17, 2017, Greenwich Time (WV): State OKs cap for special ed students in general ed classes
The West Virginia Board of Education has passed policy changes capping the percentage of students who receive specially designed instruction for disabilities that schools can place in general education classrooms.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported on Sunday that under the new Policy 2419, "special education students requiring specially designed instruction" won't be able to make up more than half of a co-taught classroom, …
July 17, 2017, University of Houston, The Signal: New law requires license for applied behavior analysis
A new law requires a state license to practice applied behavior analysis, which should benefit thousands of Texas families dealing with autism by reinforcing the standard of care and possibly resulting in more affordable services. …
More than 51,300 Texas residents between the ages of 3-21 were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in 2015, the state’s Office of Special Education Programs reported.
July 16, 2017, NorthJersey.com: Passaic Valley High to expand special needs services
The district plans to add three staff members to its special education department.
They will be assigned to work with special needs students and to co-teach with a general education teacher in the mainstream classrooms.
More special education staff members are being hired to handle the increase in special needs students who will be coming to Passaic Valley High School in the 2017-18 school year. The school will be getting 37 students with special needs. …
The district will be adding a multiple-disabilities class for students who have more than one classification, Cardillo said.
July 16, 2017, Lancaster (PA) Online: River Rock Academy to open ninth campus this fall in East Hempfield Township
An alternative school devoted to serving special education students is coming to Lancaster County.
River Rock Academy, which has eight other campuses throughout Pennsylvania, will open its first county facility in the former Consolidated School of Business building at 2124 Ambassador Circle in East Hempfield Township.
The school, tentatively expected to open in September, will serve up to 45 special education students in grades six through 12, River Rock cofounder and CEO Steve Capoferri said. …
July 15, 2017, UK Bedfordshire News: Bedford council overspend fears prompt special needs cuts
THE green light was given to slash funding for children with special education needs (SEN) – despite nearly a 40 per cent increase in such pupils in just three years. …
…despite the number of special educational needs students increasing from 695 in January 2014 to 961 in January of this year.
July 14, 2017, (Olympia, WA) The Olympian: What teachers and students get out of the state’s school overhaul
…But the state’s plan to pour about $7.3 billion of new state money into public schools over the next four years will also bring big changes for teachers and students.
Among the changes planned: More money for special education, career and technical education and highly capable programs, and tutoring in high-poverty schools. …
About $500 million over four years will help pay for academic tutoring, with a portion of that money being directed for the first time specifically toward high-poverty schools.
The state also will spend about $63 million over the next four years to roughly double what it pays for highly capable students, while increasing money for special education by about $50 million during the same period.
Zavala said he wished the state would have done more to direct money to specific students that are struggling or who have special needs.
July 14, 2017, Cape Town, South Africa: IOL.com: Calls for more special needs schools in SA
Cape Town - The number of disabled children waiting to be placed in special schools has doubled in the last year.
July 13, 2017, Kings County Politico: Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move July 13, 2017
Levin Joins PA James In Highlighting Failure Of DOE To Support Children With Disabilities
Nearly 200,000 children, or 19 percent of public school students, require an IEP. IEPs specify what individual services a child needs, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, mental health counseling, and Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS).
July 13, 2017, New Jersey Herald: High Point school chief touts proposed budget
Despite the enrollment drop, Ripley indicated "special education costs in New Jersey are skyrocketing" and that High Point has seen its special education population increase as a percentage of overall enrollment from approximately 15 percent eight years ago to more than 25 percent today.