[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Wire.]

By Joe Herring
Real Clear Wire

Reports of student misbehavior have risen sharply in public schools, as districts also report widespread “stunted” social development among students.

Yet special education resources may not be able to cope with the subsequent rise in students with special needs.

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The annual “School Pulse Panel,” a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences (IES), revealed some troubling trends:

  • More than 80% of public schools reported “stunted behavioral and socioemotional development” among students because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Schools also saw a 56% increase in “classroom disruptions from student misconduct” and a 49% increase in “rowdiness outside of the classroom.” 
  • Seven in 10 public schools reported increases in students seeking mental health services since the start of the pandemic. 

Many of the problems reported in the survey were preexisting, even if exacerbated by pandemic policies. For example, the demand for social and mental health services was already trending upward well before COVID-19. 

Data reveal struggling students are increasingly turning to special education professionals following a return to in-person classes. 

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The National Center for Education Statistics reports more than seven million children in America receive special education services, roughly 15% of kids in grades K-12. This caseload predates the pandemic and represents a level of need that is already straining district budgets. 

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, each special needs student must have an Individual Education Plan (IEP). IEP teams are comprised of therapists and psychologists, as well as teachers and administrators.  

However, as schools struggle to find these professionals and more students request special education services, the pre-existing deficit between students and resources increases, leaving more would-be special education students without federally mandated care and placing schools and districts in legal jeopardy. 

IES data reveals roughly 60% of public schools already lack enough professional staff to meet their school’s need for mental health and behavioral intervention services. 

If resources are tapped, students for whom special education services are essential will be harmed by the resulting diminishment of services. 

This strain on special education raises the question of whether the use of limited special education resources is appropriate for students whose difficulties don’t necessarily impair their learning long term, but rather are more indicative of an episodic struggle. 

However, parents in states that offer school choice programs may qualify for scholarships that can be used for special education tutoring or even enrollment in a private school.

This article was originally published by RealClearEducation and made available via RealClearWire.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The “Climate Change Cult.” The “Anti-Racism Cult.” The “Cult of Wokeness.” The “LGBTQ Cult” and its predatory offspring targeting America’s children, the “Transgender Cult.” The “Cult of Abortion.” The “COVID Cult.” The “Cult of Globalism.” “TikTok Cults.” Every month the list grows.

To right-thinking Americans attempting to make sense of a nation seemingly gone mad, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the irrational, deranged – and often demonic – leftwing political and cultural movements currently capturing the minds of millions of Americans are nothing short of full-fledged cults.

Although the high priesthood of all these leftwing religious cults – i.e., university professors, academics and other Marxist ideologues and activists – may be true believers, the people actually wielding REAL POWER do not believe any of it. To them, these leftwing cults conveniently serve to disguise and distract “the rabble” from what the leader class is REALLY up to, which is the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and glory for themselves, and a total transformation of America and the world.

All of this and much more is explored in a powerful, insightful and absolutely unique way in the latest issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled “HOLY WAR: Defeating the growing cult of leftism and its total war on Christianity.”

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