NYS Legislative News

2017

School Social Work Bill:

NYSSSWA is focusing its energy on what is often referred to as the Ortiz Bill because Assembly member Ortiz has proposed it each year since 2002.  We, together with NASW, are working with Assembly member Ortiz’ office to word the bill in such a way that passage is realistic and school social workers are mandated in every school district in NYS.  Once the bill is drafted, we will seek Senate support for a companion bill.  NYSUT will lobby with us and we will be reaching out to membership to lobby for passage.

Proposed Regents Regulations Regarding School Counselors

To date NYSSSWA has had significant impact on the language of the proposal.  Working collaboratively with NASW, UFT, NYSUT, the State Education Department and through  the power of your letters ; we have provided greater clarity to our unique role resulting in enhanced protection for school social work positions.   Due to additional concerns we raised following the latest public comment period that ended in December, the proposal is being looked at for revision.  It is anticipated that a newer version will come before the Regents in March. We will keep you updated.  Thank you to all who shared their concerns with the Board of Regents. You made a difference.   

Grades 6-12 Health Classes to Teach Mental Health Awareness:

On October, 3rd, the Governor signed a historic bill requiring that all health classes 6-12 teach mental health in health education classes. John Richter, Director of Public Policy at MHANYS, commented that “we possess the knowledge and tools necessary to increase awareness in young people about mental health, how to recognize when someone’s in distress, or crisis, and how to get help.”

Advocates and many experts believe that teaching the facts about mental health and openly discussing the issues with students will lessen the stigma surrounding mental illness. We are currently exploring curriculum models and hope to take part in an advisory capacity in designing curriculum that is appropriate for these grades. We also will advocate to support health education teachers by consulting with them and assisting them with our expertise in the field of mental health. It is a natural extension of our role in the school setting.

MHANYS (Mental Health Association New York State) has organized a summit, to be held in Albany, on March 16.   The purpose, organization of the process for the program mandated to be in schools in 2018.   Peg Barrett, Board  President, and  Kelly Hannon Nichols, Legislative Committee Chair,  will be representing NYSSSWA. If you are interested in attending the summit, please contact:  member.services@nyssswa.org


2017 Bills:

A01132:  Sponsor Rosenthal
S00692:  Sponsor Ortt

Provides for the licensure of school psychologists; authorizes the use of the title “school psychologist” to licensed or exempt individuals; defines practice as a school psychologist; sets forth requirements for professional licensure (including educational attainment, experience, exam and fee); provides for issuance of limited permits under specified circumstances; identifies exempt persons.

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2016 Assembly Resolution:

Resolution to Provide All NYS Students With Access to a Social Worker


2015-16 Bills

S S07101: Sponsor: Hamilton
New York Senate Bill S07101 sponsored by Senator Hamilton requiring a Licensed Social Worker in every school was introduced 3/28/16 and referred to the education committee.

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A06763: Sponsor: Ortiz
A similar bill was introduced in the NYS Assembly by Assemblyman Ortiz

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A00420: Sponsor: Rosenthal
The New York State Assembly is currently considering a bill that would offer licensure to School Psychologists.  January 2015 and 2016 this was referred to higher education. The full text can be found:

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S04995: Sponsor: Flanagan
The New York State Senate is currently considering a bill that would offer licensure to School Psychologists. January 2015 and 2016 this was referred to higher education. the full text can be found:

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SOA5131: Sponsor: Ortiz
Requires at least one full-time guidance counselor to be employed in each elementary, intermediate, middle, junior and senior high school throughout the state; sets duties of guidance counselors.
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A9938-A: Sponsor: Nolan Co-Sponsor: Sepulveda
S07611-A: Sponsor: Marcellino
Requires the commissioner of education to promulgate regulations to include school mental health practitioners in a certificate valid for pupil personnel services.
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