3-21-18 Education in the News

Education Week--Students With Emotional Disabilities: Facts About This Vulnerable Population

Advocates fear stigma, misunderstanding in wake of Florida shooting

The academic past of Nikolas Cruz, the accused mass shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was littered with red flags suggesting serious emotional problems.

News outlets that have reviewed Cruz's disciplinary records and interviewed his teachers paint a picture of a young man prone to violent outbursts and fascinated with weapons. In high school, he spent time in a Broward County public school that specializes in serving students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. The Associated Press has reported that a high school resource officer who was also a sheriff's deputy and two school counselors recommended in September 2016 that Cruz be committed for mental evaluation under Florida's Baker Act. That law allows for involuntary commitment for mental health examination for at least three days.

The intense focus on Cruz's mental health history in the wake of the Feb. 14 school massacre has worried some of those who work directly with students who have mental health needs, such as those receiving special education for an "emotional disturbance," the official term used in federal special education law. The classification already carries a stigma, and those students already have some of the worst outcomes among students with disabilities.


Christina A. Samuels| March 19, 2018


Education Week--Betsy DeVos Fights Dems on Vouchers, Safety, Civil Rights in Budget Hearing

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos sparred with House Democrats over the Trump administration's proposed budget's support for private school choice, and its cuts to programs related to civil rights, safety, and after-school. 

In the Tuesday House appropriations subcommittee hearing, DeVos said the administration's fiscal 2019 budget proposal would maintain its support for disadvantaged students, while also attempting to ensure greater opportunities for them through a new, $1 billion school choice program. She also highlighted $200 million in funds for science, technology, engineering, and math education, made available through the current Education Innovation and Research program, as well as level funding for the Title I program focused on disadvantaged sudents ($14.9 billion), as well as for special education ($12.8 billion).

The budget proposed by the Trump administration would cut $3.6 billion from the Education Department, a 5.3 percent reduction that would lower the department's total spending to just over $63 billion. 


Andrew Ujifusa on March 20, 2018 1:38 PM