Support the “Increased Student Achievement Through Increased Student Support Act”

Sep 16, 2008

Senator Blanche Lincoln recently introduced, “Increased Student Achievement Through Increased Student Support Act (S. 3364),” a bill that will have a tremendous impact on the lives of children by creating a better trained and prepared school social work workforce to address the psychosocial and emotional issues that can impede educational performance. Our nation currently faces a serious shortage of qualified school-employed professionals, putting students with issues that interfere with learning at greater risk for school failure.

Its companion bill, H.R. 6654, introduced by Representative Towns, has over 40 co-sponsors. We need your help to get both of these bills passed. The “Increased Student Achievement through Increased Student Support Act” seeks to address this shortage. It creates a federal grant program designed to increase the number of school social workers, school counselors, and school psychologists serving low-income local educational agencies (LEAs) by creating a pipeline between institutions of higher education and low-income school districts. Institutions of higher education with graduate training programs in school social work, school counseling, and school psychology that develop collaborative training and placement partnerships with LEA’s will be eligible to apply for federal grant funds to hire and pay participating graduates to work in those schools. Program participants who remain employed in a low-income school setting for a minimum of five years will be eligible for loan forgiveness. By expanding the number of school social workers in low-income, high-need schools, we can improve the school and life success for students throughout the country.

Action Needed: Please contact your Senator and urge them to join their colleagues, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY), Thad Cochran (MS) and Robert Menendez (NJ) as co-sponsors of the “Increased Student Achievement through Increased Student Support Act”. Let them know that you are a social worker who is committed to improving the lives of our nation’s children and you look forward to passage of this important legislation. Thanks for your advocacy. Nancy McFall Jean, MSW NASW Lobbyist

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