Senate Adopts Bipartisan Padilla, Cassidy Resolution Designating National School Psychology Week￼
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate adopted a bipartisan resolution introduced by U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to recognize the week of November 7, 2022, as National School Psychology Week. This resolution honors the more than 35,000 practicing school psychologists in the U.S., recognizes their vital role in students’ academic and personal success, and describes the importance of supporting children’s mental health to ensure proper social and emotional development and create safer schools.
“School psychologists play a critical role in ensuring that students have learning environments that are safe, healthy, and supportive to allow them to succeed in school and in life,” said Senator Padilla. “In designating National School Psychology Week, we recognize the incredibly impactful work of school psychologists to make mental health care accessible to all students. As our education system and students continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the work of our school psychologists is more important than ever.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic and school lockdowns had a devastating effect on our kids’ mental health,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We honor school psychologists for the support they provide our future generation.”
“The National Association of School Psychologists and our 24,000+ members are grateful to Senator Padilla and Senator Cassidy for their continued support of school psychologists in their states and across the country. This resolution recognizing November 7-11, 2022 as National School Psychology Week is a testament to the incredible and important work of school psychologists in our schools and communities. We are critical members of schools’ mental health support staff and help all students shine and thrive together. We look forward to continuing our work with Congress to address the shortage of school psychologists and other mental health professionals so we can meet the needs of all students,” said Celeste Malone, President of the National Association of School Psychologists.
In California, just over half of students with mental health concerns received mental health care between 2016 and 2020. School psychologists work alongside other educators to provide vital interventions for students experiencing mental health, educational, or developmental issues. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recommends a ratio of 1 school psychologist for every 500 students. However, in 2020-2021, the average ratio was 1:1,162. The ratio in California was 1:921.
Senator Padilla has been steadfast in prioritizing California’s youth mental health crisis by introducing legislation like the Comprehensive Mental Health in Schools Pilot Program Act. The legislation would fund pilot programs in primary and secondary schools to address mental and behavioral health issues and implement intervention programs for students. It would also prioritize funding for mental health programs for the most underserved schools across the country. During this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, Padilla hosted a virtual conversation with U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona to discuss the mental health impact of the pandemic on California’s K-12 students. Congress has provided over $15 billion to California through the American Rescue Plan—which Padilla supported—in education grant federal funding to help California school districts respond to the educational challenges caused by the pandemic.
The full text of the resolution can be found here.