Since 1984, California had been the only state that required that counties and not schools deliver education-related mental health services. However, when Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the funding for the program during a previous year’s budget solution, the mandate evaporated, leaving essential services in limbo.
That’s why school as cautiously embracing Governor Brown’s plan to have them take over the service. While questions remain, some school advocates are suggesting that increasing the responsibilities of the school districts is better than ignoring the needs of their special needs students.
Like with most of Governor Brown’s realignment plan, there is support for the concept, even though several questions still remain.
From California Watch:
Deep in Gov. Jerry Brown’s May revision of his January budget is a possible solution to a major conflict over funding mental health services for special education students.
Brown this week proposed that schools, not counties, be responsible for paying for mental health services, which include counseling, medication management and treatment in a residential facility. Using a complex formula Brown has come up with $390 million, including $69 million in federal special education funds, to help schools pay for those services.
“We think that the program is sufficiently funded in 2011-12 with most of the dollars going to the school district level,” said Diane Cummins, special adviser to Brown on “realignment,” the process the governor is using to try to push state services down to the local level.
Read the full article here.