Chairman Buoniconti, Chairman Koutoujian and members of the Committee, I would like to submit testimony in Favor of a bill I have filed, H. 941, An Act Relative to Access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
It has come to my attention that some students who have learning, behavioral or
emotional problems in school would benefit from the after-school counseling services of a
Licensed Educational Psychologist. However, many students are not able to do so because their
parents cannot afford to pay for those expenses. This bill would help remedy this detrimental
Not only can Licensed Educational Psychologists provide services to children and
adolescents more cost-effectively than some other providers who currently get insurance
reimbursement, they are uniquely prepared to work with young people whose problems are
related to or are affecting their educational experience.
Because this bill would not impact the fiscal responsibility of school districts to pay the
cost of special education-related evaluations, which is made clear in state and federal law, this
legislation would not result in cost-shifting for these services from the public (school district) to
the private (insurance) sector.
I believe this bill only allows consumers greater choice in selecting a mental health provider. This legislation would apply only to a small number of Educational Psychologists who
are in private practice or who work in agencies such as mental health clinics and hospitals. Most
Educational Psychologists are directly employed by school systems to work in the schools and
would not be affected by this legislation.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I strongly encourage the Committee to adopt a favorable report for H. 941 as expeditiously as possible.