Speaker Robin Vos (608) 266-3387
Madison — Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) would like to welcome Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the members of the Federal Commission on School Safety to Wisconsin. Today Secretary DeVos, the commission chair and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar are touring Adams Friendship Middle School in Adams County in central Wisconsin. The commission is focusing its Wisconsin meeting with district and state officials on the behavioral health needs of students.
“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made to provide safe learning environments and increase access to mental health services in our schools,” said Speaker Vos. “While there’s more to be done, it’s great that Wisconsin can serve as an example for the rest of the country. I’m pleased our work in this area isn’t going unnoticed.”
Last spring the Wisconsin State Legislature approved a $100 million school safety package. Hundreds of grants have since been awarded to schools to improve safety in their facilities. A second round of grants will focus on mental health training.
This past legislative session, state lawmakers allocated additional resources to schools specifically for mental health services. Two new aid programs were created to address students’ needs and the child psychiatry consultation program was expanded.
“It’s encouraging to see federal officials acknowledging that mental health is an important component to the overall safety of a school,” said Speaker Vos. “I look forward to working with the Administration on state and local programs that can make a difference in the lives of our children.”
Earlier in the day, Secretary DeVos visited Fox Valley Technical College to see its Public Safety Training Center.