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Muscogee Cty, GA: $4M MORE for students with "mental health disorders"

Feb 27, 2019, WTVM-TV, Columbus, GA: Muscogee County School District proposes behavior support program for special needs students http://www.wtvm.com/2019/02/28/muscogee-county-school-district-proposes-behavior-support-program-special-needs-students/ A public forum Wednesday at the Public Education Center allowed attendees to hear from Muscogee County School District officials on their plan to improve their behavior support program. Audience members were able to listen to the presentation and ask questions. A speaker said many students in Muscogee County show signs of mental health disorders. “We don’t know what these children are coming in with,” said Lisa Jenkins, a member of the stakeholder committee. “They could be having emotional behavior, they could be having social emotional, they could be having mental health issues. As we said, 80 percent of them have mental health issues.” With this fact in mind, district officials are researching ways to improve their special education services. … A committee of stakeholders including parents, teachers, students and a behavior analyst have been working for months to come up with a plan, and now they have one. A continuum of services ranging from least restrictive to most restrictive, allowing all students to learn in a safe environment. However, the community did have some concerns about the $4 million budget increase…. “One of the biggest challenges we have are again the cost and specifically staffing because these are specially trained personnel. They’re not easily and readily available," said Dr. David Lewis, the school district superintendent. …