If passed by the Senate and signed into law, the measure would also help state educational agencies recruit and retain school-based mental health services providers at high-need public schools.
“Educators have been forced to play an outsized role in supporting and responding to students’ mental health needs, leading to increased depression and trauma among educators, their students, and the families and the community,” bill sponsor Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), said in a news release. “However, our schools do not have the specialized staff necessary to respond to the increased prevalence and complexity of students’ mental health needs.”
The bill would require institutions of higher education to increase transparency around the accommodations process and allow incoming students with existing documentation of a disability to access disability accommodations. It would also increase students’ access to evidence-based trauma support and mental health services through innovation by linking schools and districts with local trauma-informed support and mental health systems.