Update on Mental Health Pilot program will be given at KASB School Finance Basics seminar on Dec. 12

Kyle Kessler, the executive director of the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, has been added to the agenda for KASB’s School Finance Basics seminar on Wed. Dec. 12 to discuss the Mental Health Pilot program established last year. 

Last year, the Legislature appropriated $10 million, all from the state general fund, for the first year of a Mental Health Intervention Team pilot program between school districts and community mental health centers for fiscal year 2019, including $7.5 million for the operation of the pilot program and $2.5 million for the one-time purchase of a database.  

Upon the certification of memorandums of understanding between participating school districts and community mental health centers, the bill would require the transfer of $1.5 million from the Kansas State Department of Education to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) to provide treatment and services for students under the pilot program who are uninsured or underinsured.   

Kessler will provide an update on where that pilot program currently stands and discuss what the future goals are for expansion of these services to other parts of the state. 

Registration for the School Finance Seminar is now open, follow this link to get signed up. 

In addition to Kessler, top national and state school finance experts will be featured at the seminar, occurring approximately one month before the start of the 2019 Kansas legislative session.

KASB is also inviting all Kansas Legislators and State Board members to attend, and encourages local school leaders to invite their local lawmakers to participate. 

Dr. Bruce Baker, a widely recognized scholar in education finance, will speak about school funding from a national perspective. Baker, a professor at Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, has written extensively on school finance policy and has testified as an expert witness on school funding equity litigation in many states, including Kansas. He will appear via Skype and focus his remarks on the relationship of school funding and equality throughout the United States. 

Other speakers at the conference include Kansas Deputy Commissioner of Education Dale Dennis and Heidi Zimmerman, principal auditor with the Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit.

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