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Proposed Connecticut law would fund student mental health centers in school

Alan Levine

Connecticut lawmakers are considering legislation that would direct more than $20 million to build dozens of new student mental health centers in schools.

The funds would help schools hire more psychologists, social workers and other mental health professionals.

Charlene Russell-Tucker, the commissioner of the State Department of Education, said the pandemic has made the issue a priority.

“The department has been engaged in intentional efforts to address the social, emotional, physical and mental health needs of our students pre-pandemic, and included our school staff as well during the pandemic,” Russell-Tucker said.

Another bill would set up a state grant program to increase wages for childcare and early childhood education workers. It would also strengthen recruitment efforts for teachers of color.

“Child care, the field in Connecticut has experienced significant challenges, fiscal stress and exhaustion over the past two years due to COVID. And they’re really struggling with workforce shortages, changes in enrollment and high costs for running the business,” said Beth Bye, the commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.