ALBANY NY (WTEN) — There is a push for more social workers and psychologists in our schools. With a rise in mental health issues among students, lawmakers say the time to act is now.  

“Right now we don’t have the funding, and it’s unconscionable that we don’t. Coming out of this pandemic we’ve seen the crisis of mental health among our young people and we need to make that investment,” said Assembly member and sponsor of the bill, Jessica González-Rojas.

According to the New York State United Teachers Organization, students do best in their academics when social and emotional needs are met. Proper staffing will help alleviate the mental health crisis and put students in the position to learn. Lawmakers say they’ve seen a particular need for this funding in rural and high needs districts. 

The bill is currently in the Assembly’s one house budget. They’re asking for $40 million for mental health professionals in school districts  and are urging the Governor to include this in her final budget.