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Flint, MI: Lead linked to 25% of kids in SPECIAL EDUCATION

Nov 20, 2019, ABC12, Flint, MI: Flint schools seek more special ed funding to erase $9 million debt https://www.abc12.com/content/news/Flint-schools-seek-more-special-ed-funding-to-erase-9-million-debt-565242972.html The superintendent is now waiting for the school board's suggestion on tackling the district's multi-million dollar debt. Flint Community Schools Superintendent Derrick Lopez said the state average of students who require special education services is 12%. But, that number is more than double in Flint Community Schools -- 24% to 26%. "Whether it be speech and language services, whether it be occupational therapy or physical therapy, could just be a simple social work service or psychology service," he said. "If it's in the IEP, we actually have to provide that." He has no problem with making sure each student's needs is met. The problem is the lack of funding for them…. So this past year, Flint Community Schools had to take $3.6 million out of the general fund to cover the cost of IEPs. "We need to have something different because the percentage of students that we have in special ed is climbing because of the lead crisis," said Karen Christian, the United Teachers of Flint president and a fifth grade teacher…. "Because we have kids just now coming into school that were born when the lead crisis started, we're gonna have even more students that are gonna end up with IEPs," Christian said. …