Summary: This bill creates access to the Behavioral Health Care Professional Matching Grant Program and the School Counselor Corps Grant Program for elementary schools. Under current law, only a public school that includes any of grades 7 through 12 is eligible to receive a grant through the Behavioral Health Care Professional Matching Grant Program and only a public middle, junior, or high school is eligible to receive a grant through the School Counselor Corps Grant Program.
Position: The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this proposal to increase access to behavioral health professionals and counselors for elementary schools. These professionals provide critical support and early intervention for students of all ages and provide educators with supports to help address challenging behaviors in the classroom. In light of recent data regarding the frequent and disproportionate use of suspension and expulsion in the early elementary grades, access to counselors is a pressing issue in our elementary school settings.
Current Status: Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 1:30 in Room 352. Bill Jaeger, our VP of Early Childhood Initiatives, will testify in support of the bill.