skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

VA child advocates calling for increased school funding

play audio
Play

Monday, February 19, 2024   

Virginia child advocates are calling on state lawmakers to improve school funding.

The concern grew when several bills focused on building up school mental health failed in their respective General Assembly committees. The state is ranked 48th for youth mental health by Mental Health America.

Cat Atkinson, mental health policy analyst at Voices for Virginia's Children, said given the ongoing youth mental health crisis, now is the time for action.

"Having mental health professionals in our schools creates a space where, one, our young people are able to be where they're comfortable," Atkinson recommended. "They have built relationships with staff and are able to be in their schools, and to be able to have their needs met in a place where they are consistently."

The mental health staff funding bills failed or were continued to the 2025 session due to high costs. Combined, the bills would have called for around $120 million to be spent in the 2025 and 2026 budgets.

Beyond money, a long-term workforce shortage is depriving schools of having proper mental health staff. A KFF report found 48% of schools nationally have insufficient access to licensed mental health professionals.

The funding inconsistencies affect more than just mental-health services. A 2023 report found not only are school divisions getting less funding than most other states, but Virginia is still using the Great Recession as a benchmark for cost-reduction measures.

Atkinson pointed out a lack of funding affects not just schools.

"The trickle-down effect of our state underfunding public schools places a burden on the local communities," Atkinson argued. "Which leaves the quality of our young people's education to depend entirely on the neighborhoods they reside in."

She added the current situation is not equitable because community resources across regions vary significantly, but noted there are other ways to get mental health care in schools.

In 2023, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1300, which requires teachers to get trauma-informed care training every three years. Gov. Glenn Youngkin's Right Help, Right Now plan would also bolster school and community mental health needs.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
About 7.4 million adults take insulin, a hormone regulating glucose and used to treat diabetes patients. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

More than 1 million people in North Carolina are diabetic and they have become increasingly worried about the national shortage of insulin. The …


Environment

play sound

Missouri homes and businesses have installed enough solar energy to power 68,000 homes each year. A new report released by the Solar Energy …

Social Issues

play sound

Workforce watchers project the country could face critical worker shortages in many of the skilled trades in coming years. The Nebraska Winnebago …


If power grid operators cannot change the interconnection process in time, data show around 80% of the emissions reductions expected from the Inflation Reduction Act might not happen. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new rule from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could improve Virginia's electric grid transmission capacity. It requires utilities and …

Social Issues

play sound

Surrounded by states banning nearly all abortions, its legalization in New Mexico has made the state a top place to travel for the procedure and a …

As we near summer, tens of millions of Americans will take to our nation's waters to spend time with family and friends. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers are launching their boats to enjoy another season on the water. However, before jumping aboard, now is an ideal time to review safety plans …

Social Issues

play sound

This week, Ohio approved adult-use marijuana sales as part of a 2023 ballot measure, with sales anticipated to start mid-June. Ohioans age 21 and …

Social Issues

play sound

The Nevada state primary is coming up June 11 and one voting-rights group wants to make sure all Nevadans have the information they need to make their…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021