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Milwaukee: School supt. would 'highly, highly, highly stress the importance of mental health needs'

Feb 16, 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Borsuk: Reflection on Parkland — many kids need more help than they're getting https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/education/2018/02/16/borsuk-reflection-parkland-many-kids-need-more-help-than-theyre-getting/346565002/ …One thought arises from the public hearing on Feb. 2 at James Madison High School in Milwaukee of the state’s new Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding. Milwaukee School Superintendent Darienne Driver was testifying. State Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) asked her what her priorities would be if aid to Milwaukee Public Schools was changed. “I would highly, highly, highly stress the importance of the mental health needs,” Driver responded. There are so many kids, not only in Milwaukee, not only statewide, but everywhere, who need more help than they are getting. Especially when the adults in their lives aren’t handling things well, schools are increasingly the place where there could be, should be and sometimes is a connection between helpers and kids needing help. We’re not talking generally about kids at the extreme ends of the spectrum. That’s a different level of need. … Asked by state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) about providing services, Driver said, “We are losing the battle in terms of making K-12 a desirable option for psychologists. … In other words, the need for help has risen and it’s become harder to provide qualified people to meet that need. This is not an MPS-only problem. A second thought: One positive development in the last couple of years is the rising emphasis on social and emotional learning for students. …