California Department of Education
California Department of Education
August 4, 2022
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted a virtual press conference today to highlight new grant opportunities available to aspiring mental health practitioners to support California students. Thurmond also announced a call to service for graduates to become mental health providers in California schools and will use his office to raise awareness of the opportunities, partnering with others to lead a recruitment effort. nationwide.
The mental health impacts of the pandemic have created a public health crisis for young people — one that has left students more prone to anxiety, self-esteem challenges and even suicide. Across the globe, parents and schools are struggling with how to help children reach school and deal with the trauma caused by the global pandemic.
“Now we have the funding and we need to recruit mental health practitioners, especially in rural areas and communities of color, and we’re going to do marketing and outreach to make sure everyone knows these resources are available,” he said. Superintendent Thurmond.
“This is an important moment. Our students deserve and should have more support, and we are grateful to have resources we can use to help them. We recognize that it will take time to build many of these wraparound services so that our students can heal, recover and thrive, and that’s why it’s important to get this work started right away.”
Building on legislation he authored and sponsored, Senate Bill (SB) 1229 (State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-North Coast), Thurmond worked closely with Governor Gavin Newsom and the California State Legislature to ensure that the budget 2022–23 state budget to include $184 million for teacher and school counselor residency programs and expands an existing $350 million school counselor residency program. It also expands the current Golden State Teacher Grant Program for graduate students pursuing degrees to become mental health clinicians serving California students, allowing them to receive grants of up to $20,000.
“I thank the Governor’s Office for working with us to incorporate the bill into the budget through existing programs so that there are no delays in implementation,” said Thurmond. “I would also like to thank the California Alliance for Children and Family Services for their help in initiating and writing the language that eventually became SB 1229 and their expertise and assistance in highlighting this issue.”
Thurmond is using his office to promote grant opportunities for aspiring clinicians — including reaching out to candidates of color seeking to become mental health doctors. The California Department of Education will partner with the California Student Aid Commission and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to help launch an online application and website and assist with outreach. Those who want more information can send email email@example.com.
Superintendent Thurmond’s effort to recruit 10,000 physicians is part of a larger plan to address workforce challenges in the education sector. It’s also a central part of his effort to help students recover from the trauma of the pandemic, recover academically and thrive as they prepare for the future. Thurmond has also appointed a task force to address education workforce shortages, which is working to address compensation, training and recruitment strategies to help offset education staff shortages in a state that serves nearly 6 million students.
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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100
Last revised: Thursday, August 4, 2022
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