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Senate Passes Bill Improving Student Mental Health Care

May 27, 2022

Legislation incentivizing school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists to continue working within school systems was unanimously passed by the Senate this week. The bill, introduced by Senator Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), establishes the Student Mental Health Apprenticeship for Retention and Training (SMART) program. It provides school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists substantial tuition assistance for their commitment to remain within the district they service while completing specialized certifications and master’s level educational requirements.

Michigan ranks second to last among U.S. states and territories for having counselors available to students, which is one counselor for every 671 students. The American School Counselor Association recommends a ration of one counselor for every 250 students.

The bill will be sent to the House for further consideration.

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