2021 Maryland Legislative Window
The Maryland General Assembly is currently in the 2021 legislative window. This is a very important time to use our collective voice to make a difference for students. We have prioritized two bill to support within this window: HB0461 and HB0496.
HB0461 seeks to establish Mental Health Days in public schools across the state of Maryland. Mental Health Days are excused absences from school for mental health related reasons.
We are seeking to amend this bill, however. In its current state, this bill only offers 1 mental health day per quarter. We want this to be increased to at least 3 per quarter. In addition, we want to require students who exceed this limit to be required to meet with a counselors, school psychologist, etc. This is so students aren't punished with an unexcused absence for exceeding the limit, and so schools can practice active prevention.
Every school has a resource officer, a police officer on campus, yet not every school has a school psychologist, enough counselors, student resource officers, etc.
HB0496 expands the Safe School Fund budget to $10,000,000 to be used to increase school based mental health services, and expands the School Safety Subcabinet Advisory Board membership to include mental health professionals