Center for MH in Schools & Student/Learning Supports


Keep up with the National Initiative for Transforming Student and Learning Supports. For details and for free access to the new work entitled: Transforming Student and Learning Supports: Developing a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System, see

Half of youths with mental health disorders go untreated.
Researchers estimate that 7.7 million youths ages 6 to 17, or nearly 16.5% of school-aged children, had one or more mental health disorder, but only half of them had undergone mental health treatment during the previous year. The findings in JAMA Pediatrics, based on 2016 National Survey of Children's Health data, also showed that childhood mental health problems were most prevalent in Maine and least prevalent in Hawaii, while untreated pediatric mental health conditions were most common in North Carolina and least common in Washington, D.C.  see

Marijuana in Schools The Education Commission of the States recently published a legislative analysis about how states that permit the prescription of cannabidiol, also known as CBD, to minors are adjusting school drug policies. More than half, 17 in total, of states that have legalized medical marijuana have also OK'd the use of prescription CBD for minors. And of those 17, at least six have enacted state laws to address school drug policies and make it easier for students to use, in some cases on school property. (U.S. News & World Report)

WI – Evers, Bipartisan Task Force Both Calling for Funding Hike. Gov. Tony Evers campaigned on the promise to increase funding for public schools by $1.4 billion, and now a bipartisan legislative task force that heard from parents, teachers and others across Wisconsin is also calling for significant increases in state spending and local property taxes. (Associated Press)

>Related Education Commission of the States Resource: State Information Request: Using Property Taxes to Fund Public Education

MA – New Effort Launched to Change Education Funding Priorities. The question of how to best divvy up state education dollars is again shaping up as a top issue in the new legislative session in Massachusetts. (Associated Press)

Related Education Commission of the States Resource: Governors’ State of the State Addresses: Education-Related Proposals

More Than a Quarter of Schools Could Be Flagged as in Need of Improvement Under ESSA, Experts Say . States are beginning to release their lists of schools that need extra help and there's a particular group of schools that experts are watching closely: Additional Targeted Schools. It could end up describing anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of schools.

'The Single Biggest Risk Factor in Getting Expelled Is Being a Preschooler' . Preschoolers are eight times, on average, more likely to get kicked out. States are starting to notice and intervene. (Governing)
Related Education Commission of the States Resource: Suspension and Expulsion

WA State Works to Meet Needs of its Homeless Students. Reykdal says his office and others throughout Washington are working to provide homeless students with the resources to graduate. He spoke with U.S. News & World Report about these efforts and what approaches are successful. (U.S. News & World Report).

New York City will hire 100 new coordinators to serve record number of homeless students: Chamcellor Carranza said the city is modestly expanding its efforts to locate families in shelters that are near their children’s schools. And he has restructured the education department so a single point person, LaShawn Robinson, is in charge of overseeing homeless students. (Chalkbeat)

Related Education Commission of the States Resource:
Do You Know How Many Youth Are Homeless in Your State?

David Berliner: My students asked who I would vote for. I told them that I was done voting for politicians who spout foolishness [about reforming schools] over and over again! (Washington Post)

 Surveys consider effects of student engagement . Data collected from surveys by Gallup show that 47% of students say they are engaged in school and such students are 2.5 times more likely to get good grades than their disengaged peers. The data show the engagement is highest among elementary-school students, but it drops off between fifth and 10th grades. (Gallup)  

Schools scramble to get students back in class after Hurricane Michael. Florida Panhandle officials are trying to figure out how to resume classes after Hurricane Michael damaged or destroyed many schools last week. The challenge is especially daunting in Bay County, where schools are closed until further notice. School leaders are working to come up with a plan to get thousands of students back in the classroom as soon as possible (there are 26,000 students in Bay County) Bay School District officials are considering split sessions for high school students on campuses that escaped relatively unscathed. One high school would hold classes in the morning, and another in the afternoon.

More students in New York City schools homeless than ever before :The number of students in New York City's public schools living in temporary housing reached a record 114,659 this past school year, according to the Advocates for Children of New York. This marked the third year in a row that the number exceeded 100,000, the group said. The New York Times hf

Too Many States Minimize Student Subgroup Performance in Essa Accountability Systems:An analysis by the Alliance for Excellent Education indicates that many state are skirting ESSA's requirements related to identifying low-performing schools, and those where subgroups of students are struggling (e.g., vulnerable subgroups of students, such as racial minorities, English-learners, and those with disabilities).

One Third of Middle- and High-Schoolers Were Bullied Last Year, Study Shows: A third of students say they were bullied last school year, according to a report released today by non-profit group YouthTruth. That’s an increase from two years ago, when just over one in four students had been. (USA Today)

A Benefit of Free Lunch for All: Fewer Students Get Repeatedly Suspended, New Study Suggests It’s the latest evidence that universal meal programs, which have also been linked to higher test scores and better health in other research, help students. (Chalkbeat)

Most States Still Don't Require Full-Day Kindergarten, Report Finds. The newly updated report, which was released last month, finds that that only 15 states and the District of Columbia require full-day kindergarten.

Special education students on the rise. 
The number of students receiving special education in public schools is rising, with about 13 percent of all students receiving such instruction, according to a recent study. A Department of Education report, titled the Condition of Education 2018, states the number of students aged 3 to 21 receiving special education services increased from 6.6 million to 6.7 million from the 2014-2015 school year to the 2015-2016 school year. Among those, 34 percent had specific learning disabilities, of which 20 percent had speech or language impairments and 14 percent had other health impairments.

>County to pay rent so children don't have to change schools. To keep 26 children from being yanked out of their Northeast Portland (OR) elementary school mid-school-year, Multnomah County will spend $48,000 to cover the steep rent increases that threatened to displace them and their families. Rigler Elementary School is in the county's SUN Community Schools program, which provides after-school activities and social services to disadvantaged students. The county-connection made reallocation of funds possible. County officials decided that, through the SUN program, they'd made an investment in Rigler children's success and wanted to support that community.

>North Carolina's School-Based Mental Health Initiativ. Requires all LEAs/charter schools to develop and implement a plan for assessing and improving the effectiveness of existing supports for addressing the mental health and substance use needs of the student population. Each plan is to address (1) universal prevention, (2) early intervention services, and (3) referral, treatment, and re-entry. In addition, state-level supports via consultation and training are described. Policy statement


Also access other news stories relevant to improving addressing barriers to learning through links at

We draw on a variety of standard sources to amass the above items (e.g., ECS e-clip at

Links to News sources  Related to the Center's Concerns

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