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(UK) York has $2.5M shortfall; "SPED needs, in particular autism or mental health on the rise"

June 23, 2019, York Mix: A £2m [$2.5M U.S.] hole in York’s special educational needs budget ‘could hit vulnerable children’ https://www.yorkmix.com/life/a-2m-hole-in-yorks-special-educational-needs-budget-could-hit-vulnerable-children/ Fears that services for York’s most vulnerable children could be cut back have been raised – as a report says there is an expected £2m hole in the budget for special educational needs. The Labour group says the overspend in the past financial year means City of York Council is under pressure to cut costs. And Labour councillor Fiona Fitzpatrick said there is “real trouble down the road” if the problem is not addressed. She said: My concern is cutbacks to services will be made to address these overspends, but go under the radar; it’s essential that we maintain special educational needs support, for example, and find the money for children who need that support now. There are some huge challenges for children’s services in ensuring support services are maintained, while also balancing the budget. Cllr Fitzpatrick said plans to increase the budget for the new centre for excellence for disabled children by an extra £250,000 will add to the pressure. Lack of funding A council report says the number of children with special educational needs, in particular autism or mental health problems, is on the rise in York and there has also been a lack of funding to help meet the needs of these youngsters. … Our priority is to maintain crucial services to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Unfortunately, the bottom line remains – without considerable extra investment from the Government to fill the gap in high needs block funding, our children’s services budget, like all other local authorities across the country, will remain under pressure. …