Senator Margaret O’Brien and Representative Adam Zemke had agreed to introduce legislation setting standards for integrated student supports. Although the Senator had the legislation drafted, late in 2017 she decided that other priorities (such as legislation sparked by Larry Nassar) did not leave her time to sponsor the ISS bills. Senator Jim Marleau then agreed to take her place, with the bill introduced in the Senate on April 10 as SB 926 and then by Representative Zemke as HB 5912. Despite positive meetings with policymakers, the legislation fell victim to session being shortened because of the 2018 elections.
The enacted FY 2018-19 school aid bill has the first explicit mention of Communities in Schools in Michigan law. At risk funding language (Sec. 31a) requires schoolwide reforms in school districts with 40% or more economically disadvantaged students that must include parent and community supports, activities, and services that may include Pathways to Potential or Communities in Schools Programs.
SB 149, enacted as PA 586 at the end of December supplements school aid funding with an additional $18 million in at risk funding for districts that had received less through this categorical than in the previous year. It also included $30 million in funding for school based mental health services, for which CIS Michigan lobbied diligently. Michigan will be seeking a Medicaid waiver, which could increase the amount of funding through Medicaid match to as much as $55 million for much-needed school based mental health services.