TEA Request for Safe and Healthy Students: Preventing and Addressing Student Mental Health Concerns in School

Testimony to the Senate Finance Committee Regarding Article III


Texans Care for Children applauds the Governor and legislative leaders for including student mental health among their priorities this legislative session. We support the Senate’s efforts to expand adults’ and children’s access to psychiatric treatment in the community, but we also believe that state strategies to address student mental health must include providing support for schools. Schools are on the front-line of working with children and youth, many of whom have or are at risk for mental health concerns. Schools have a vested interested in addressing student mental health, which is strongly interconnected to learning and behavior. School practices can prevent students from developing mental health concerns. They can also trigger or exacerbate mental health problems that put students’ education, health, and safety at risk.

We urge the Senate Finance Committee to add TEA’s Safe and Healthy Schools Exceptional Item to SB 1 and provide additional funding beyond the $54.5 million requested by TEA.