May 2021 Spotlight on Enacted & Proposed SEL Legislation

Three states enacted legislation in support of SEL in recent weeks. We’re sharing information about these new acts as well as pending SEL legislation from across the country.

IN SB0205—Passed

Teacher training

On April 22 Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law IN SB0205, setting new standards for teacher training programs including evidence-based social emotional learning practices. This bill, which sets new standards for teacher training programs, including mandatory youth suicide awareness and prevention training, also mandates that these programs consider training teachers in evidence-based SEL practices. Learn more about IN SB0205.

NJ S2486—Passed

Establishes Clayton Model Pilot Program in DOE to provide school-based social emotional learning to students in grades kindergarten through five at certain public schools

On May 11 New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law NJ S2486, establishing the Clayton Model Pilot Program in DOE to provide school-based social emotional learning to students in grades K-5 at certain public schools. This bill to pilot SEL programs in schools across New Jersey passed with strong support. With this new law in place, the “Clayton Model,” proven to positively impact students’ social and emotional health, academic performance, and caregivers’ supports, will be expanded across the state. Learn more about NJ S2486.

WA SB5044—Passed

Concerning professional learning, equity, cultural competency, and dismantling institutional racism in the public school system

On May 5 Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law WA SB5044, supporting changes to WA schools for professional learning, equity, cultural competency, and dismantling institutional racism in the public school system. This law includes guidance for new state standards on antiracist and cultural competence training, research into disproportionate student outcomes, and the integration of SEL. Learn more about WA SB5044

Dear Colleague Letter

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) circulated a Dear Colleague letter in late April to help marshal support for SEL funding. Thanks to everyone who wrote to their U.S. Representatives to ask for their support of this letter! With your help we played an important role in having the following representatives sign on: Davis (IL-07), DeFazio (OR), DeSaulnier (CA), Garcia (TX), Grijalva (AZ), Hayes (CT) ,Himes (CT), Kildee (MI), Moulton (MA), Newman (IL), Omar (MI), Panetta (CA), Scanlon (PA), Soto (FL), Welch (VT)

Rep. Kildee’s letter now moves on to the leadership of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee as they work on their appropriations bill for the upcoming fiscal year. Thanks again for your dedication to our mission. Keep your eyes open for more advocacy opportunities to come!

OR HB2368—Pending

Relating to pilot program for trauma-informed approaches

This bill establishes a pilot program to promote and support positive student mental and behavioral health by using trauma-informed and culturally responsive practices. Experts would report on the results of this pilot program and recommend a path forward. Learn more about OR HB2368

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