NYS Legislative News

2018

School Social Work Bill:    February 12, 2018 Press Conference

NYS Assembly Assistant Speaker Félix W. Ortiz, Peg Barrett & Evelyn Bautista-Miller

On February 12, 2018 NY Assembly Assistant Speaker Félix W. Ortiz  (D-Kings) and NY Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Brooklyn) held a press conference with leaders of the New York State School Social Workers’ Association, as well as the National Association of Social Workers-New York State and New York City Chapters to introduce legislation, Bill A09533,  that requires access to “at least one full-time licensed or certified school social worker to be employed in each elementary, intermediate, middle, junior high school and senior high school” in New York State.

NY Senator Jesse Hamilton

Ortiz stated:  “Certified social workers are the ‘gatekeepers’ for our youth, adolescents, and young adults’ education to help guide their future successes. Many of these students face problems that require professional help. Early intervention is the most effective way to prevent difficulties later in life.”  Senator Hamilton noted:  “Mental health, emotional health and wellness all matter to educating our children. A parent fearing eviction, violence at home or in the community, any number of circumstances can impact a child’s ability to learn. School social workers have the expertise to help children, help families, and help our communities address these needs.”  See:

 

Candida Brooks Harrison, NASW-NYC President Elect
Peg Barrett, NYSSSWA President
Evelyn Bautista Miller, NYSSSWA Member & Bilingual SSW
Samantha Howell, NASW-NY Executive Director
Assistant Speaker Assemblyman Félix Ortiz,
Hai-Ping Yeh, NYSSSWA Past President
Kelly Hannon Nichols, NYSSSWA Legislative Chair

Press Conference NYS Assembly Assistant Speaker Félix Ortiz, Peg Barrett & Evelyn Batista Miller
Assemblymember Félix Ortiz & Peg Barrett, NYSSSWA President Interview
Interview with Assemblyman Félix Ortiz & Evelyn Bautista Miller

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Proposed Regents Regulations Regarding School Counselors

OA5131 Sponsor: Ortiz (2016?)
“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.”

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 2017, 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.


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.


2016:

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.


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


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:


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:


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.


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.