SY 23-24 Sees Increase in School Behavioral Threat Assessment Teams (June 14, 2024)

As reported by K-12 Dive, according to data recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics during the 2023-24 school year about 85% of schools maintained a behavioral threat assessment team to identify students at potential risk for violent or harmful behavior toward themselves or others, which is up from 82% of schools during the 2022-23 school year. The Midwest reported the lowest level of behavioral threat assessment teams in the 2023-24 school year, at 81%, and schools in the South had the highest at 88%. Of the schools with such teams, 71% had identified students at potential risk to themselves, and 49% had identified students at potential risk to others, according to the survey data collected in April.

Several experts and organizations, including the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), recommend schools have threat assessment teams to help prevent school violence or student self-harm. Nine states required school threat assessment teams as of January 2024, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. Experts also recommended several best practices, including having a special education professional on the team and training team members to understand there is no certain profile of a student who can cause harm.

For more from K-12, click here.

Governor Shapiro Hosts Roundtable Discussion on MH with Students and Faculty (June 14, 2024)

On June 11, 2024 Governor Shapiro met with students and counselors at Iroquois Jr./Sr. High School to hear firsthand about their mental health challenges and shared how his 2024-25 budget’s proposed investments would provide $100 million to improve mental health services for students and staff in K-12 schools, and a $20 million increase this year in base county funding for community-based mental health services.

In his first budget, Governor Shapiro made historic investments in our public schools, students, and teachers, and empowered parents to put their children in the best position to succeed by delivering the largest increase in K-12 basic education funding in Pennsylvania history, delivering universal free breakfast for 1.7 million students, and securing $100 million for student mental health.

The Governor’s 2024-25 budget proposal builds on his historic first budget by delivering $1.1 billion in additional basic education funding for public schools, as well as additional funding including:
-$300 million in sustainable funding for environmental repair projects in school buildings.
-Continuing an annual $100 million in mental health funding for K-12 schools to support students and staff.
-A continuing $50 million annual investment in school safety and security improvements.
-A $50 million increase for special education funding to ensure school districts have the basic resources necessary to provide special education services to students with disabilities and special needs.

The Governor’s proposed budget would also increase county funding for community-based mental health services by an additional $20 million this year and calls for additional funds in successive years, reaching an overall increase of $60 million per year increase by 2025-26.

For the 2023-24 school year, the Iroquois School District was awarded a $113,895 Mental Health Award grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to provide school-based mental health and behavioral health supports, including counselors and resources for students. In fact, in Erie County alone, a 2023 Pennsylvania Youth survey showed that 41.5 percent of students reported feeling sad or depressed most days in the past year, a number higher than the Commonwealth’s average.

For more information on mental health services available to all Pennsylvanians, click here.

For more information on the Governor’s proposed budget, visit   

PACSSA Sends Endorsement of the Pennsylvania School Counseling Services Act to General Assembly (June 10, 2024)

The newly-formed Pennsylvania Coalition of Student Services Associations (PACSSA) will be sending a resolution to members of the PA General Assembly in support of House Bill 1665 and its companion bill Senate Bill 33. The resolution states that, “PACSSA strongly supports legislation aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of school counselors in Pennsylvania.  We understand the critical role that school counseling services play in fostering healthy student development, supportive school environments, addressing student mental health needs, and promoting success for all students within our educational systems.”

It goes on to say, “The Pennsylvania School Counseling Services Act (HB 1665 and SB 33) represents a significant step forward in prioritizing the well-being and success of Pennsylvania’s students.  We urge you to support this critical legislation and join us in advocating for its swift passage and implementation.”

PACSSA and PAPSA urge all educators to support this important proposed legislation since, pupil/student services is critical in ensuring the academic success and overall well-being of all students.

HB 1665 has been in the House Education Committee since April 4, 2024. SB 33 was referred to the Senate Education Committee on June 7, 2024.

To access the resolution, click here.
Access HB 1665 here.
Access SB 33 here.

“Survey of Parents of Students with Disabilities” BSE Memo is Sent to LEAs (June 9, 2024)

Penn State PRO Wellness Announces New Program Benefits (June 9, 2024)

Enrollment for the Healthy Champions program for the 2024/2025 school year is open for all K-12 schools across Pennsylvania! Penn State PRO Wellness, in partnership with The GIANT Company, provides enrolled schools with no-cost health education materials at the beginning of the school year and encourages schools to host signature events to help teach youth and their families how to bring healthier choices to life. 

NEW Features and Benefits:
To enroll, a school representative must complete the new online assessment. Immediately after completing the assessment, each enrolled school receives a personalized Star Score Report.

Enroll today at: