June 13, 2017, Bangor (ME) Daily News: It’s time to get real about the unsustainable cost of Maine’s public education system https://bangordailynews.com/2017/06/07/opinion/contributors/its-time-to-get-real-about-the-unsustainable-cost-of-maines-public-education-system/?ref=mostReadBoxOpinion Student enrollment is projected to plummet, as it has over the last couple decades. For ten thousand fewer students than six years ago, we are spending over $100 million more per year in state funding for education. This is driven by a 20 percent increase in special education costs, 17 percent increase in student and staff support, and 14 percent increase in administration spending. … An increasingly expensive system for fewer and fewer students is not sustainable, and we must make meaningful change. We must confront rising costs for special education. We must insist that more than 59 cents on the dollar spent on education in Maine makes its way to the classroom.
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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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