Beyond the Mask: Promoting Transformation and Healing in School Reopening: Investing in the Behavioral Health Workforce
The U.S. Department of Education required each state to submit a reopening plan outlining how they were using and planned on using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) conducted an analysis of 37* state plans to better understand if and how schools were prioritizing their behavioral health workforce.
Because ESSER funds are not permanent, many states were hesitant to use funding to support additional providers. However, some states did choose to invest in an expanded behavioral health workforce but did not invest in non-traditional providers. CLASP recommends a workforce that is diverse in both identities and credentials.
*CLASP analyzed the 37 plans that were available as of July 5th, 2021. Plans submitted after this date were not included in our analysis.