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Manchester, NH: 'None of us have been trained to deal with what we are seeing in classrooms daily'

Feb 17, 2019, Manchester (NH) Union Leader: Student behavior inspires plea for more special education spending in Nashua Citing poor behavior, the opioid epidemic and a growing number of deaf and special needs students, the school district’s special education director is asking for more staff even as her budget continues to shrink. “Behavior is such a huge issue in the district,” Marcia Bagley recently told the Board of Education. “We see more and more students experiencing trauma, and that trauma comes out in the way of behaviors — that is an issue.” The special education director wants about nine new positions filled in the district’s upcoming budget. “None of us have been trained to deal with what we are seeing in our classrooms daily,” Bagley said. “The opioid crisis is hitting hard and the students that we see are not the students that we went to school to teach.” She wants to hire two additional school psychologist interns, an additional para educator for the district-wide behavior specialist team, increase the hours for a board-certified behavior analyst to full-time and hire a para educator for Brentwood Academy. There are about 2,054 special education students throughout the district, of which about 1,632 are educated in a regular classroom setting, Bagley said. … In 2018 the school district spent about $14.1 million on special education and $12.7 million is in the 2019 budget. The 2020 budget as recommended by Superintendent Jahmal Mosley provides $12.2 million for special education.


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