School Superintendents Recognize the Need to Support Mental Health Services (October, 2017)
This Fall, the Council of School Superintendents reported that in response to asking superintendents what some of the biggest problems are that they are facing, the superintendents’ most widely cited significant problem was the “ ‘Capacity to help students in meeting non-academic needs including, for example, health and mental health issues,’ cited by 45 percent of superintendents”. See Superintendent’s Biggest Problems.
The Council also reported that according to their financial survey increases to “mental health, social work, counseling and similar services supplanted extra academic help for struggling students as the most widely selected priority”. See Funding Priorities. The survey results are welcome news for School Social Worker’s who are licensed and provide emotional and behavioral support to students in schools across the state.
We are excited that a greater awareness of the prevention, early intervention, Tier II, Tier III, and post-intervention mental health needs of students and school communities, PreK-16, is swiftly emerging. Certified School social workers are licensed mental health professionals grounded in school regulation and culture. Their service provides the appropriate balance of expertise to meet the climate, cultural, crisis and mental health needs of schools, yet, absent district mandate, there remain many districts void of this critical support.
Proposed School Counseling Amendments:
The New York State Education Department finalized the Counseling Amendments on November 10th and presented them to the Board of Regents P-12 Education/Higher Education Joint Meeting on November 14th, 2016. Please see:
This is the link to the second document-
Websites to help you “Take Action”
Searching for a New York State Law?
Click here to find a New York State Law
Looking for Similar Laws in Other States?
National Conference of State Legislatures
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Assembly Email List
NY Senate Directory 2017
Advocacy List with Emails Access spreadsheet compiled by NYSSSWA including members of the NYS Assembly Committee on Education, NYS Senate Committee on Education as well as Higher Education and the NYS Board of Regents
Education Committee Members (Senate & General Assembly) and Board of Regents Directory compiled by NYSSSWA.
NYS School Social Worker Survival Toolkit
Click here to download the self-advocacy resource guide by NASW-NYS School Social Work Task Force in collaboration with NYSSSWA.
New York State Assembly
Assembly Members: Click here
Bills & Legislation
Bills of Interest
OA6763 Sponsor: Ortiz
“Requires at least one full-time licensed social worker to be employed in each elementary, intermediate, middle and junior high school throughout the state.
OA5131 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.”
New York State Senate
Members: Click here
Higher Education Committee:
Members: Click here
Other State Advocacy Resources:
New York State Center for School Health:
- Education Law
- New York State Commissioner’s Regulations for Health Services
- New York State Guidelines
- New York State Laws Pertaining to School Health
“The State Legislature is responsible for enacting the general laws in New York. In doing so, the Legislature often delegates “rule making powers” to the state’s administrative departments and agencies. These agencies are then empowered to develop and enforce the rules and regulations they find necessary to implement the broad policies adopted by the Legislature.” This document describes how rules are created to enact laws in NYS.