(Sacramento – April 24, 2019,) - This week the California State Assembly Committee on health passed Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer (D- South Los Angeles) Assembly Bill (AB) 258 that establishes a grant program that would fund health, mental health and other supportive services for California students.
“I applaud my colleagues who voted to keep AB 258 moving through the legislative process,” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer Sr. “It is our responsibility to immediately invest in the health and well-being of our youth. AB 258 provides an immediate and permanent funding source for necessary health and support services that will improve the academic performance and social development of California’s students.”
Support staff to student ratios are very low in California, with approximately one nurse for every 2,500 students, and one social worker for every 10,000 students. Districts statewide have sought additional state and local funds to address this shortage, while some advocates have proposed a ballot measure that would reform Proposition 13 in order to increase school funding. Should the measure pass, those funds would be available sometime after 2020. However the funds my bill seeks to appropriate, are available now.
“California’s educators care deeply about the health, safety and wellbeing of all students and believe meeting these needs ensures they show up to school ready to learn and succeed. Student support services meet a crucial need that extends beyond academics. Peer pressure, bullying at school, family troubles, and drug use are all barriers to learning,” said CTA President Eric Heins, representing 325,000 educators around the state. “We are pleased to join Assemblymember Jones Sawyer in setting the stage for increasing the much-needed support that only school counselors, nurses, and social workers can provide.”
“The need for supportive services at schools has long been recognized,” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer. “School-based services allow for the treatment of immediate student needs throughout the school day and can play a critical role in connecting students and their families with other community health services.”
AB 258 now heads to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. represents South Los Angeles, Florence-Firestone, Walnut Park, and a portion of Huntington Park. For more information about Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, Sr., please visit https://a59.asmdc.org/