The shortcomings of America’s mental health system have once again been brought to the forefront as national news outlets report the shooters responsible for recent mass killings in Las Vegas and Texas were mentally ill.
Medical experts say there’s no real connection between individuals with mental illness and mass shootings, but the presumed link between the two reveals the real reason why the mental health system is in such dire straits — we still don’t understand enough about mental illness.
North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, is known as a staunch fiscal conservative, opposing expansive federal fiscal policy set forth by his Democratic colleagues — except when it comes to his own district.
Many rural Americans who voted for Donald Trump last November did so based on his promise to cut the federal deficit and rein in spending. When he announced his preliminary budget proposal March 16, however, Democrats and Republicans alike were shocked at the extent of proposed cuts to programs that serve some of the nation’s poorest rural communities.
After scrambling to cut $2.4 million from last year’s budget, the Haywood County School Board has weathered the storm and presented a proposed 2017-18 budget that is significantly sunnier than in years past, but still sees storm clouds looming on the horizon.
“The smartest countries tend to be those that have acted to make teaching more prestigious and selective; directed more resources to their neediest children; enrolled most children in high-quality preschools; helped schools establish cultures of constant improvement; and applied rigorous, consistent standards across all classrooms.”
— “What America Can Learn About Smart Schools in Other Countries,” The New York Times
In the last year, Macon County teacher John deVille has asked county commissioners several times to pass a resolution asking the North Carolina General Assembly to restore public education funding to 2008 levels.
Haywood County’s Central Elementary School has been declared “surplus” school board property and will be disposed of according to proper procedures.
In late October 2015, Gov. Pat McCrory signed the “Protect North Carolina Workers Act,” requiring state and local governments to verify the immigration status of potential employees and to prohibit interference in the relationship of local law enforcement with federal agents investigating immigration violations.
Macon County Schools Superintendent Chris Baldwin came before the county commissioners last week to plead his case for additional funding in the 2016-17 budget.
Kyle Ledford spent years working with at-risk youth and high school dropouts in the Haywood school system. Saving kids was his calling, but it always felt like he was not playing with a full deck.
“The problems these kids were having could not be addressed in and of itself by a school. We couldn’t do anything about getting them a job or providing childcare or getting them housing and clothing,” Ledford said. “I can teach kids all day long, but I can’t do anything about housing and I can’t do anything about food stamps and I can’t do anything about transportation. The school system can’t solve a societal problem. It takes the community.”