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December 11, 2020


December 16 Governor's Budget Listening Session on Schools and Education

Join the Governor, administration officials and citizens from across the state for a virtual listening session on December 16 focused on schools and education. This is the fourth in a series of virtual listening sessions which provide the governor with an opportunity to hear about the issues affecting our communities and our state directly from Wisconsin families and workers.

Wisconsinites interested in helping craft the 2021-23 People's Budget can submit a written public comment on any topic at any time here.

Those interested in registering to attend the listening session need to register in advance (the sessions will also be broadcast at  More details...

DPI Releases Budget Proposal for 2021-23 Biennium
Seeking $1Billion in New School Investments

State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford-Taylor shared her vision for funding Wisconsin's K-12 education system in early November. In addition to seeking a restoration of two-thirds funding for school districts and a range of other substantial funding proposals, the budget focuses on some key school-based mental health investments including:   
  • Aid for School Mental Health Programs(Page 15): DPI proposes to expand the School Mental Health Categorical Aid Program to include reimbursement for expenditures made for pupil services generally, rather than just for social worker services. ($22.5 million FY 21; $24 million FY22)
  • School Based Mental Health Services Collaboration Grant (Pages 20-22): DPI proposes a $3.5 million annual increase in the collaboration grants which would increase the total annual dollars for grants to $10 million. In addition, DPI requests a change in statutory language (WI Stats 115.367) to replace “community mental health agency” with “mental health provider.”
The Coalition supports the proposed increase in the SBMH Services Collaboration Grants. See below for more session priorities.
Coalition Policy Agenda - Continue Growing Capacity for School-Based Mental Health 

School-based mental health collaborations have continued to support a critical continuum of services for students throughout the public health emergency as schools and providers pivoted to online platforms and adjusted to hybrid models. The pandemic has further reinforced the value of school-based and school-connected services. The challenges and successes shared by our broad array of partners across the state continue to inform the Coalition's policy agenda. Priorities in the coming legislative session include:
  • Supporting a $3.5 million annual increase in the School Based Mental Health Services Collaboration Grants, which have proven to be a critical foundational resource for growing and expanding SMH opportunities and access.
  • Growing the mental health workforce by investing an additional $500,000 annually in the clinical supervision grant program, which launched this fall and is supporting masters level clinicians as they finalize their training for full licensure.
  • Focusing on parity coverage for telehealth services. Teletherapy allows for continued safe, practical, and effective treatment and enables more students to access services and access them more quickly, especially in rural areas of the state.
Want to learn more? Stay tuned for additional talking points and resources on the Coalition website in coming weeks! 


SBMH Services Collaboration Grants - Apply January 2021
The next opportunity for grants opens up in January 2021. Visit the DPI website for key tools and information to prepare your school district for success in the coming grant cycle. The website includes FAQs, program examples, best practice guidance and access to consultation. 

Resources from 2020 Conference on Advancing School Mental Health 
The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) continues to be a key national resource for best practices, and their 2020 online conference was packed full of resources from leaders in the field. All sessions were recorded - a great on-demand go-to resource! Check it out.

State Efforts to Elevate SEL During the Pandemic
This recent report from CASEL provides examples from across the country of states continued efforts to promote social and emotional learning and highlights six key areas of focus for schools.

Holiday Resilience
  • Building Resilience During Winter Celebrations (Resilient Wisconsin / DHS)
  • Different, Safe Holidays: The 2020 holidays are going to be different.  With the advice being to stay home, be safe, and help stop the spread of COVID-19, here are suggestions on how to make the holidays still meaningful and fulfilling. (WI Office of Children’s Mental Health)

Join us!

There are many opportunities to engage with Coalition partners to promote our collective mission to advance and support expanded, comprehensive and integrated mental health services within the school setting through school, home, and community partnerships. Reach out to learn more - Check out our calendar of events, including information on our June 2021 Summit coming soon!

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Copyright © 2020 Coalition for Expanding School-Based Mental Health in Wisconsin, All rights reserved.

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