Bill moves forward for funding of mental health professionals in Illinois schools

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Illinois House passes a bill in support of a tax to fund mental health professionals in schools.

Sponsored by Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon), HB 3244​ would allow counties to bring forth referendum allowing voters to decide on funding to hire mental health professionals or school resource officers. This would only apply for schools that impose a school facility tax.

Demmer says the bill comes in an effort to give schools more flexibility.

“Student safety is a paramount concern for all school districts, and budget constraints often limit the resources they are able to provide to enhance student safety and well-being,” said Demmer. “HB 3244 allows more local control so that individual school districts can make staffing decisions involving school resource officers and mental health professionals that are in their students’ best interests.”

Schools in more than half of Illinois’ 102 counties have chosen to impose a school facilities tax. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.