Legislators hear about student mental health from experts and educators

Koleszar Remote Committee

Chair Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) presides over the remote education committee at Sterling Heights High School, March 11, 2024.

LANSING, Mich., March 12, 2024 — State Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), chair of the House Education Committee, held a committee hearing yesterday at Sterling Heights High School. The first school safety hearing of 2024 was held remotely so lawmakers, experts and community members could come together in a location that would be impacted by the topic at hand: the importance of school mental health care professionals and their essential role in school safety. Various experts in the field shared testimony at the hearing.

“Keeping students safe is a central priority for my colleagues and me. We understand that in order to improve school safety, we must address it from all angles,” Koleszar said. “There are so many factors when it comes to school safety — a critical one being mental health and supporting the essential professionals who work in that area. Hearing testimony from experts and listening to residents is key in making sure that we can craft smart legislation that will keep kids safe and support our mental health care workers.”

House Democrats have made significant strides in school safety during the previous year. Some investments included $300 million over two years for mental health improvements in schools; plus, almost $320 million was designated specifically for school safety.

“While we made strides to improve school safety last year, the work isn’t over just yet. It’s time for us to build on our successes. We will continue to work toward solutions to improve school safety and ensure that students have access to the necessary mental health resources they need,” Koleszar said.