Gov. Matt Blunt is calling for more than $2 million dollars to place mental health workers directly in schools.
Blunt's proposal calls for a two-year cost sharing grant program in partnership with local community mental health centers and school districts.
Blunt cited the Columbine tragedy as a reminder "that we cannot ignore some of our children have special needs that must be identified and addressed early."
"This funding will help ensure that Missouri students receive the assistance they need to stay emotionally healthy and perform well in school," Blunt said in a release.
Rep. Bob Dixon and Springfield Public Schools superintendent Norm Ridder were both quoted in the Governor's release. Rep. Dixon said the plan would "reduce disruptions that hinder learning for all students.”
Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that 5 percent of the population of children between 4 and 17 demonstrate serious mental health problems needing specialized treatment. According to the Governor's office, research says more than one in ten children will contemplate suicide during their school years.