State grants help Michigan school districts invest in students' mental, physical health

Posted at 11:40 AM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 11:40:08-05

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Whitmer announced on Tuesday that Michigan schools are recruiting and in the process of hiring 560 more school psychologists, school social workers, school counselors and school nurses with help from the State School Aid Act.

“The pandemic reminded us that school-based mental and physical health professionals are not luxuries,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Healthy students – physically, mentally and social-emotionally – are better learners. Having skilled professionals in school buildings helps our kids get the supports they need so they can thrive in the classroom and beyond.”

The fiscal year 2022 budget includes $240 million to increase the number of school-based professionals to support mental and physical health.

As of Tuesday, 210 school districts have applied for grant funding to hire these professionals.

Grant funds help districts hire staff and gradually transition from fully funding the position with state funds during the first year to fully funding with local funds in the fourth year.

Districts are still eligible to apply for funding through the state’s website here.

Staff must be hired by March 1 to qualify.