This month, CEC joined with numerous national education, disability, and mental health organizations in supporting a framework for improving school safety and increasing access to mental health supports for children and youth.
A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools was created by the American School Counselor Association, National Association of School Psychologists, School Social Work Association of America, National Association of School Resource Officers, National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
The Framework challenges the notion that reactionary measures alone will keep children safe in schools, and instead embraces a proactive, interdisciplinary approach that centers on six policy recommendations:
1. Allow for blended, flexible use of funding streams in education and mental health services;
2. Improve staffing ratios to allow for the delivery of a full range of services and effective school–community partnerships;
3. Develop evidence-based standards for district-level policies to promote effective school discipline and positive behavior;
4. Fund continuous and sustainable crisis and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery planning and training that uses evidence-based models;
5. Provide incentives for intra- and interagency collaboration; and
6. Support multitiered systems of support (MTSS).
More than 100 education and children’s mental health groups and experts have endorsed the recommendations outlined in the Framework, including CEC, the National Education Association, American Association of School Administrators, Mental Health America, and many other organizations.