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Public Policy and Legislation

How our schools can address California’s youth mental health crisis — now (

Image: COURTESY: ASPIRE PUBLIC SCHOOLS To read more of Cora Palma's article, please click here. Those of us who work in schools don’t need statistics to tell us that our children are in crisis; the research corroborates our lived experience. Since 2017, rates of anxiety and depression among California’s children have shot up by 70% and one-third of California adolescents experienced serious psychological distress between 2019 and 2021, including a 20% increase in adolescent suicides. The...

Author of ‘Critical Race Theory’ Ban Says Texas Schools Can Still Teach About Racism (

Photo: Rachel Zein for the Texas Tribune Author: Brian Lopez, August 11, 2022 Author of 'Critical Race Theory' Ban Says Texas School Can Still Teach About Racism For the past year, Texas educators have struggled with a new law targeting how history and race are taught in the state’s public schools. Now, eight months after the enactment of a law designed to de-emphasize the role of slavery and racism in American history in Texas social studies classes, state Sen. Bryan Hughes , R-Mineola, the...

Trauma-Sensitive Remote Learning: Maintaining Predictability, Consistency and Belonging (

Trauma-sensitive educators told us that no matter how the remote learning is taking place across the district, (from direct instruction online as a class group, to remote learning with no face-to-face contact with a teacher or peers, etc.), having a regular time several times a week set aside for students to talk with their teachers —whether it be face to face, on a device or voice only on a phone— is critically important to buffer the traumatic impact of the current situation. Being able to...

Federal Grants for Trauma-Informed Interventions in Schools

As Elizabeth Prewitt reported in the recent blog post-- President Trump signs opioid legislation with significant trauma provisions -- the Support for Patients and Communities Act (H.R.6) includes significant provisions increasing trauma-informed best practices in multiple settings. Section 7134. Grants to improve trauma support services and mental health care for children and youth in educational settings authorizes $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023 for these grants.

California Mulls Guidelines for School Telemental Health Programs (

California lawmakers are pushing a bill to develop a statewide policy for telehealth and telemedicine that will give students remote access to mental health services. AB 2315 , which is now headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, calls on the California Department of Education and Department of Health Care Services to develop connected care guidelines within two years for the state’s public schools, including charter schools. The bill passed unanimously in both the Senate and State Assembly. “For...

The federal Handle with Care Act is designed to connect children who experience trauma to trauma informed school resources

Click here for the full press release: Proposed Federal Legislation: Handle with Care Act KAINE, MANCHIN, CAPITO INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO CARE FOR CHILDREN IMPACTED BY OPIOID ABUSE Thursday, April 26, 2018 Bristol Virginia Public Schools Superintendent: this bill ‘will equip us to better achieve our vision of enabling all students to thrive’ Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced the Handle with...

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