More than $35 million in funding will be going to school districts across the state.
The Oklahoma School Counselor Corps will focus on the mental health of students. The Oklahoma State Department of Education will be using $35.7 million dollars in federal relief money to fund the Oklahoma School Counselor Corps.
“We will be studying the impact of the pandemic for years to come,” says state superintendent Joy Hofmeister.
The grant was given to 181 school districts across the state to hire counselors and other mental health professionals. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says something like this is needed even more because of the pandemic.
“One of the reasons that we have prioritized a school counselor corps is that we know all of our children are coming with something they need to overcome from the last school year,” she said.
Broken Arrow School District will get 1.6 million in funding. Executive Director of Federal Programs Jean Brassfield says the school will be able to have two behavioral therapists, ten therapists, and six social workers.
She says right now they have three social workers, so adding more is great for the students.
“But that equals to about 1 to 6,000 students so this will bring the number down to 1 to 2,000,” she said.
Brassfield says students and families have struggled during the pandemic, and this will help the district offer more support.
“Just helping through depression, anxiety, and basic needs, so it’s not just mental illness but the basic needs of families and support,” she said.
The grant will fund the positions through the 2023-2024 school year.