Aug 13, 2018, Norwich (CT) Bulletin: Expert proposes regional special education centers http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/20180813/expert-proposes-regional-special-education-centers School officials and political leaders from around Eastern Connecticut gathered at Norwich City Hall on Monday to share concerns and seek solutions on how to properly fund special education in community schools. Mayor Peter Nystrom hosted the second meeting of the Special Education Roundtable, which featured presentations from Mystic-based special education attorney Andrew Feinstein and Karen Weseliza, a representative from U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney’s (D-2nd District) office, to address shortages in special education funding statewide. Wesliza explained the federal government does not fund individual school districts — it funds states — and it is up to the state to properly disperse the funds to the school districts. “Bottom line, the state should be funding 40 percent of special education costs,” Weseliza said. “Currently, that funding is approximately 17 percent.”… "There has been an explosion in the occurrence of autism and anxiety in the last 10 years, while learning disabilities are in decline,” Feinstein said. “The system needs to be revamped so that money goes where it is needed.”… Norwich Superintendent Abby Dolliver said economic issues impact Norwich’s ability to fund special education, but that doesn’t remove the need to provide sufficient services. “We are a poor town with a lot of students with special needs,” Dolliver 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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