Re: “Washington students are facing a mental health crisis. Here’s why schools are on the front lines.” [April 4, Education Lab]:
The Education Lab article on student mental health missed a key aspect of this issue. That is the fact that the state Legislature severely underfunds schools in this area. The current funding model funds one psychologist for every 216,000 middle school students. Practically, this is no funding at all.
In 2014, the voters approved Initiative 1351, which called for the Legislature to significantly increase the funding for school psychologists by 2019. The Legislature did not fund any increase. In 2019, the Legislature empowered Staffing Enrichment Workgroup recommended a significant increase in funding for school psychologists to be phased in starting in the ’20-’21 school year. The Legislature did not fund any increase.
The Legislature needs to step up to its paramount duty and support our students.
Dave Larson, Tukwila School Board Director