June 19, 2018, Fox7, Austin, TX: AISD looking for funding to keep mental health centers open http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/aisd-looking-for-funding-to-keep-mental-health-centers-open Austin ISD health services staff are scrambling to find additional funding to keep mental health centers running at 16 school campuses. The district approved a contract with Seton Family of Hospitals to provide student health services, but that will affect the number of registered nurses and mental health centers at school campuses. A health service director at Austin ISD said there are multiple benefits of having mental health care on every school campus. “So we know that mental health in schools is vital to their success, not only academically, but attending school on a day to day basis,” said Tracy Spinner, director of health services for Austin ISD. Because of our budget deficit of $29 million and our recapture payment of over $600 million for the State of Texas, we don't have extra money to expend for other programs that are not really the main core mission of our school district, which is to educate children,” Spinner said. Monday night, the board approved a $7.1 million contract with Seton Family of Hospitals to provide student health services across the district. The contract adds some programs that have never been available before, like free immunization clinics, but other services could be cut back. “Because of funding and the lack of money we have in the district, we were not able to add on that $1.3 million for our school based mental health clinics,” said Spinner. 16 campuses could no longer provide mental health centers under the contract, though Austin ISD staff are optimistic about keeping the centers open. … “We're working diligently all summer to find alternative funding solutions, so that we also can continue to provide that continuity of care for mental health,” Spinner said.
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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