Jan 27, 2019, Bemidji (MN) Pioneer: VIEWPOINT: Bemidji Area Schools calls for predictable, forecasted state funding https://www.bemidjipioneer.com/opinion/columns/4562522-viewpoint-bemidji-area-schools-calls-predictable-forecasted-state-funding … Funding education is a constitutional duty of the governor and the Legislature. State funding has not kept up with inflation since 2003. That stacks up to nearly $600 per pupil in Bemidji Public Schools, according to the Minnesota Department of Education. This underfunding has led to a higher burden for the taxpayers in the Bemidji School District and prevents the school district from implementing programs that would support students. Our student transportation costs were underfunded last year by $500,000 dollars; our special education funding shortfall last year amounted to more than $4 million. The shortfall also interferes with the ability of district administrators and board members to effectively plan and execute on our community’s vision for education. … Local voters across the state have had to fill the gap for basic education services. In our community, local voters have had to support Bemidji Public Schools with more than $5 million in additional local funding every year as a result of the state’s underfunding of education. As a result, much of the state’s fiscal responsibility and burden has fallen on the shoulders of local taxpayers. … Without the approval of 3 percent and 3 percent and predictable, forecasted increases above inflation this legislative session, Bemidji Public Schools will need to continue to burden local taxpayers with over $500,000 for busing and more than $4 million in special education costs. …
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.