Jan 17, 2020, Monroe (CT) Sun: Monroe school district in turmoil. ‘We’re going to work through this’ https://themonroesun.com/monroe-school-district-in-turmoil-were-going-to-work-through-this/ Acting Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza and central office staff are grappling with the budget deficit for this year, while working on next year’s spending plan, and the Board of Education is working closely with town officials to balance the books on the heels of the suspensions of superintendent Dr. Jack Zamary and interim finance director Frank B. Connolly earlier this week. “These are difficult times, but this is a great town and we’ve worked through challenging times before,” Kobza said Thursday. “We’re going to work through this one and come out strong on the other end. Everyone is working their tails off to get this done, especially our finance staff.” Some Board of Education members have expressed frustration over a growing deficit in the 2019-20 budget, which is mostly from special education and medical insurance costs. Board members are trying to get a final number for what the total deficit will be. At Thursday night’s budget work session, Kobza gave an update to the Board of Education. The deficit continues to grow, with special education rising from $300,000 to $550,000 since the last report. Kobza said the district had more students who were not budgeted for. Among the increase, there was a total of $70,000 for new programs. When a district receives a special education student it is required to fund each one’s individualized education program. The district is also not receiving as much financial reimbursement from the state in the form of Excess Cost grants…. As officials work to resolve issues with the current budget, the Board of Education is in the midst of reviewing Zamary’s $60.5 million budget request for fiscal year 2020-21, which includes a 5.7 percent increase in spending. First Selectman Ken Kellogg and Board of Finance Chairman Michael Manjos have expressed concerns that voters would not approve that big of an increase at referendum….
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.