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Department of Public Instruction distributes first payments for mental health program

Thursday, June 20, 2019  
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June 20, Wisconsin Health News

The Department of Public Instruction distributed the first payments from a new program supporting mental health services in schools on Monday.

The Aid for School Mental Health Programs was created in the 2017-19 state budget.

It provided $3 million for 89 public school districts, independent public charter schools and private choice schools to expand services offered by school social workers.

"Our students and educators feel the tremendous need for mental health services in our schools,” Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said in a statement. “Today, our commitment to addressing this challenge moves one more step forward."

Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed increasing funding for the program by an additional $22 million annually in his 2019-21 budget.

But the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee recently signed off on an additional $3 million every year.