Maryland Reserves Some Funds to Meet Emergency Needs While Sustainability Investing in Staff Pipeline

The Maryland Department of Education is reserving 2.5% of its total ARP ESSER allocation for emergency needs, including a $10 million investment for implementing Regional Crisis Response and Clinical Support Teams. These teams will provide three years worth of services to help address the backlog of needs brought on by the pandemic. 

Each team consists of professionals trained in clinical support and crisis intervention to ensure students and families facing trauma and hardship due to the pandemic have access to services. The regional teams will work with students, families and staff to develop individualized plans for mitigating future crises or trauma. Moreover, this effort intends to support the training of aspiring school counselors, school social workers and school psychologists by funding practicum and internships for future mental health providers.

We are spotlighting this use of funds because it targets state funds to help address urgent student mental health needs, while also providing a bridge to sustainability in the long term.

Reviewer Analysis

The Education Trust

This is a strong approach to ensuring students with the greatest need are holistically supported by professional, communities, and government resources.

Leslie Villegas

This is an innovative approach addressing multiple issues related to COVID and in order to ensure that English learners and their families benefit from this investment, MDE will need to focus on ensuring multilingual families are considered in communication and outreach efforts. Additionally, to the extent possible, MDE should ensure the teams are able to provide language access either by hiring bilingual staff, interpreters, and translation services.

New Leaders

Focusing on the mental health and well-being of students is an excellent use of funds. The proposed length of services will provide a continuum of support and services to those in need.

Jocelyn Pickford

The focus on regional supports is smart, allowing those closest to students and families to provide services. I also applaud the focus on mental health as distinct from social emotional learning - both are important but they are different. Finally, the link to training future counselors is promising as a pipeline tactic.

The Bush Center

The practical, coordinated approach to support families and kids hardest hit is a very smart use of funds.

National Parents Union

We love to know if the future counselors, social workers, and psychologists that will go through a practicum would also become interns or offered employment upon completion of the practicum/internship?

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