Two important mental health bills have received crucial legislative support and are close to reaching the finish line but need your advocacy. Senate Bill 1, which was voted out of the Senate, and House Bill 5001, which passed the House unanimously, both contain vital mental health supports for children.
SB 1, which now awaits a vote in the House, would establish
- Grants for hiring and retaining additional school social workers, school psychologists, school counselors, or school nurses
- A Teacher Recruitment Task Force charged with exploring incentives to recruit and retain educators, including measures related to the Teachers’ Retirement System, such as the pandemic pension credit CEA has proposed
- A prohibition of dual instruction
- Uninterrupted duty-free lunch periods (30 minutes or more)
- School-based health center expansions
- Minority teacher recruitment scholarships
- A task force to look into streamlining and eliminating unnecessary obstacles to certification
CEA members were in the halls of the Capitol on Wednesday when the House unanimously passed HB 5001, a bill teachers have pushed hard for that takes steps to address trauma and the mental health crisis in our schools. It now heads to the Senate.
HB 5001 would, among other things, require certain health plans to cover two mental health wellness examinations per year without a requirement for prior authorization, expand telehealth services, and create a grant program to provide for student mental health specialists.
Educators must continue advocating for final passage of both of these bills before the close of the legislative session on May 4.