Flint, MI: "Significant number" of SPED students expected to grow because of lead in water

Sept 29, 2017, Detroit Free Press: Flint water lawsuit against Michigan, local school officials can proceed A federal lawsuit that claims state and local school authorities have failed to ensure that lead-exposed children in Flint are receiving an appropriate education can move forward, a judge ruled today.... The lawsuit alleges that special needs students in Flint have been shortchanged for years, a problem compounded by the city's lead-tainted water crisis. ... "Flint already has a significant number of students with special education needs," he said. "That number will likely go up due to the effects of lead to which all children in Flint were exposed. It is vital that the local school system be ready to meet their needs…. The lawsuit was filed in October 2016 on behalf of 15 children between the ages of 3 and 17. It says tens of thousands of kids are at risk of having a disability because of lead poisoning. Flint's water crisis began to unfold in 2014 after the city, under the authority of a state-appointed emergency manager, switched its drinking water source from the Detroit system to the Flint River. Lead is a neurotoxin that causes cognitive, developmental and behavioral impairment in children….