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Austin, TX: Millions being spent on district-wide in-school "mental health centers"

Aug 13, 2018, Community Impact Newspaper, Austin, TX: Austin ISD continues to seek funding to maintain middle and high school mental health centers Austin ISD is about $1.7 million short of being able to maintain its mental health centers at the 16 middle and high school campuses that had the services last year, according to a conversation Superintendent Paul Cruz had with the board of trustees at Monday’s board workshop. Austin ISD mental health centers are spaces on school campuses where licensed mental health therapist can meet with students, teachers and parents to address a child’s emotional needs. Integral Care, an Austin-based counseling and mental health service that operates some of the district’s centers, has committed to provide $300,000 for the services this year, Cruz said. AISD has also asked the Central Health board for $420,000 to support the centers, which would be voted on by Central Health by the end of September, he said. Even with the support of Central Health and Integral Care, funding will be approximately $640,000 short of expected costs…. In June, AISD approved a new agreement with Seton Family of Hospitals to provide student health services, but funding for the mental health centers was not included, according to board documents. While not discussed at Monday’s workshop, the district has also opened 22 elementary school mental health centers that are funded through a $4.5 million Victims of Crime Act grant was awarded in fall 2017.

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