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“With more social workers in schools, we may be able to catch learning deficiencies early and help children grow.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – Local schools will be allowed to hire more social workers under legislation passed in the Illinois Senate today. House Bill 826 would allow schools to employ enough social workers to meet the nationally recommended social worker to student ratio of 250:1.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is the legislation’s sponsor in the Senate.

“We are not forcing schools to hire more social workers in an unfunded mandate,” Koehler said. “All we are saying is if schools want to use their resources to reach the recommended ratio of social workers to students, then we should allow them to do so.”

Past research has shown that diverse students such as those with disabilities or minorities are at a greater risk of having mental health challenges but less likely to receive the necessary services. With more social workers in schools, the hope is that those services will be more easily accessible.

“With more social workers in schools, we may be able to catch learning deficiencies early and help children grow,” Koehler said. “These selfless individuals are crucial to helping struggling students get on the path to success.”

According to the School Social Work Association of America, school social workers provide evidence-based education, behavior and mental health services to students.

The legislation passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

 

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
M113 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120