Governor Signs Student Mental Health Bill Into Law, Other Education Bills Move Forward
Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs & Policy Manager
Governor Roy Cooper signed into law Senate Bill 476 on Monday, creating new requirements for mental health training and suicide risk protocols in K-12 schools. S476 (S.L. 2020-7) directs the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt a school-based mental health policy, and requires K-12 school units to adopt and implement a school-based mental health plan that includes mental health training and suicide risk referral protocol. The mental health training program must be provided to school personnel who work with students in grades K-12 and must address the following topics: youth mental health; suicide prevention; substance abuse; sexual abuse prevention; sex trafficking prevention; and teenage dating violence. The suicide risk referral protocol must be provided to school personnel who work with students in grades 6-12 and must include guidelines on identifying students at risk of suicide, as well as procedures and referral sources that address actions that should be taken.
Other notable education-related bills that advanced this week include H1071, which would provide $100 million to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to fully fund enrollment growth for FY 2020-21. H1071 has successfully passed both chambers, and will head next to the Governor’s office for his consideration. House members voted yesterday not to approve H158, which would waive the road test requirement for provisional licenses, and the bill was sent to conference committee to make additional changes to the bill. The conference committee substitute approved by conferees this morning would waive the road test requirement, while also providing new accommodations for students enrolled in classroom driver education programs between January 2020 and March 16, 2020.
To access a full summary of all education-related legislation with action since last Thursday, please click here.