County Council approves additional behavioral health funding for San Juan Island School District
Posted May 9, 2022 at 7:15 am by Jeff Arnim
Following a recommendation from the Human Services Advisory Board, the San Juan County Council unanimously approved a contract amendment with the San Juan Island School District last week, agreeing to increase behavioral health funding for the district by roughly $168,000 for the 2021–2022 school year.
“What we’re seeing is that the San Juan [Island] School District has had a significant increase in behavioral health issues among students due to the COVID pandemic,” County Human Services Manager Barbara LaBrash told the Council. “They are reporting that the other sources of funding are not sufficient to provide the level of service necessary to address the unmet behavioral health needs of students and families as a result of the pandemic.”
“We believe the funding request is a positive investment in the future of students, with the aim of reducing the need for more intensive services,” LaBrash explained.
Roughly 20 percent of the requested funds will be applied to the district’s Family & Community School Liaison position, which County Behavioral Health Specialist Richard Uri described as fulfilling a unique and critical role within the community.
“He works with all families, which was especially helpful during remote schooling when they couldn’t have contact [with in-person resources],” Uri explained. “And as a bilingual worker he has made connections with the Spanish-speaking families much better for the schools, and helps to bring them into more services.”
The money for the one-time funding increase will come out of the County’s Mental Health Tax Fund. Revenues from that fund are generated by a 0.1 percent sales tax adopted by the Council in March 2009.
You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.
Categories: Around Here