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May 1, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Changes to mental health services in DC’s public schools causes concern

– Changes to the mental health services in the District’s public schools have teachers and parents worried about disruptions to existing relationships between mental health clinicians and students. The DC Department of Behavioral Health, which is responsible for the services, has not yet released an official plan but previous statements from agency officials indicate significant changes. (DCist, 4/28)

The controversy over proposed changes to mental health services in D.C. schools initially surfaced at a DBH oversight hearing in February. Teachers and school administrators expressed concerns over rumors that the agency planned to pull full-time clinicians from their designated schools and have them serve in an itinerant role between multiple schools.

“This change will put up even greater barriers for our students to receive the care and support services they desperately need,” said Stephanie Beer, a teacher at the International Academy at Cardozo. She added that the stakes for at-risk students who do not receive mental health services are significant, citing higher rates of missed classes and suspension.

– Transitioning military members in Northern Virginia are getting the chance to learn to code in a Northern Virginia Community College boot camp course. (Potomac Local, 4/30)

WRAG COMMUNITY | Rose Ann Cleveland, executive director of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, has announced her plans to retire from the foundation in October 2017. (Cafritz Foundation, 4/28)

HUNGER | The Hunger Resource Center in Manassas, VA is helping a father teach his children about true charity. (WaPo, 4/27)

INCOME INEQUALITY | Most of the United States agrees that economic inequality exists but are we letting our own biases get in the way when we try to address it? (NYT, 4/28)

GENTRIFICATION | Derek Hyra, American University’s School of Public Affairs professor, discusses his new book, Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City, about the gentrification of DC’s U street neighborhood. (WCP, 4/28)

Related: WRAG was honored to have Derek Hyra as our business meeting speaker at last year’s annual meeting.

BUDGET | D.C. Council is urged to consider delaying landmark tax cuts (WaPo, 4/27)

ENVIRONMENT | Marchers came to DC on Saturday to protest the new administration’s climate policies. (NPR, 4/29)

Three simple steps you can take to improve your life, according to TED conference speakers.

– Kendra

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