• Invoice would give ,000 to aspiring college counselors, social employees
    College Guidance and Counseling

    Invoice would give $25,000 to aspiring college counselors, social employees

    Julie Leopo for EdSource

    SB 1229 would supply grants of as much as $25,000 for individuals pursuing careers within the youth psychological well being area.

    Bailey Adling would keep up some days till 3 a.m. learning for his grasp’s diploma at school counseling, after which get up at 7 a.m. to work a full day in its place trainer. He was so exhausted he usually thought-about dropping out of this system.

    Whereas Priscilla Park was enrolled full-time in her graduate college counseling program, she taught college in the course of the day and gave up her social life, whereas nonetheless paying off her six-figure undergraduate loans.

    Even the state’s high educator, Superintendent Tony Thurmond, struggled to make ends meet whereas incomes his grasp’s in social work 20 years in the past. If he hadn’t had a paying internship, he mentioned, he by no means would have managed.

    Now Thurmond is pushing for a invoice that would supply as much as $25,000 in grants for college kids pursuing careers at school counseling, social work and different fields associated to youth psychological well being. Senate invoice 1229 goals to deliver 10,000 new psychological well being professionals to California younger individuals, who’ve struggled with hovering charges of melancholy, nervousness and stress.

    “This is likely one of the most vital payments that’ll come out of the Legislature this yr,” Thurmond mentioned. “Nearly each scholar in California has suffered from psychological well being challenges. If the pandemic wasn’t sufficient, there’s the fallout from college shootings, wildfires, financial uncertainty. … We’re at a essential second, and we have to do every part we will to assist.”

    Extra grants out there in Newsom’s finances

    Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised finances additionally consists of incentives for these contemplating careers in school-based psychological well being. Beneath his proposal, the Golden State Instructor Grant Program would develop to incorporate college counselors, social employees and psychologists, in addition to lecturers already eligible since 2020. Those that qualify might rise up to $20,000 in grants to assist offset the price of tuition at public or non-public universities.

    Beneath SB 1229, these grants may very well be $5,000 bigger than the governor’s plan. If the invoice passes, which is probably going as a result of to date it has no opposition, college students might begin receiving these grants as quickly as this fall. The invoice would value $250 million total, with the funds coming from the state surplus.

    Grants might increase variety

    To turn into a faculty counselor in California, candidates should earn a grasp’s diploma at school counseling, sometimes a two-year dedication that features no less than 600 hours of area work at a faculty. These internships are sometimes unpaid, which suggests many potential counselors take out loans to cowl tuition in addition to dwelling bills.

    Tuition for California State College’s 15 graduate counseling applications, which practice nearly all of California’s college counselors, is about $20,000. State grants might make a giant distinction for college kids who in any other case wouldn’t be capable to afford to turn into college counselors, mentioned Caroline Lopez-Perry, affiliate professor within the college counseling program at California State College Lengthy Seaside.

    “It’s a extremely strategic means to make sure a robust, constant workforce at school counseling,” Lopez-Perry mentioned. “The necessity for monetary help generally is a barrier to variety in this system, so this can be a good method to handle that.”

    Due to the tutoring prices and time dedication, most individuals who pursue college counseling levels are typically middle- or upper-income and white – regardless of the growing variety of the state’s Okay-12 inhabitants as an entire. Advocates have been calling for colleges to recruit and rent extra Black and Latino counselors, who could be higher in a position to join with college students in these teams. Based on SB 1229, virtually 8 million Californians – a lot of them Black, Latino and Native American – dwell in communities with a scarcity of psychological well being professionals.

    If both or each SB 1229 and the governor’s finances proposal move, they would supply a welcome respite for college kids in CSU graduate applications, who usually obtain little monetary help and rely totally on loans, mentioned system spokeswoman Toni Molle.

    “Providing $25,000 will help college students in paying for applications and probably help with the necessity to work full-time whereas pursuing a graduate diploma,” she mentioned. “It might additionally immediate college students working within the area to return to high school to pursue a graduate program.”

    In some areas, a decent job market

    One doable hitch for SB 1229 is the job market and Cal State’s capability to coach extra college counselors. For the reason that pandemic, college districts all through California have been hiring extra counselors and social employees to deal with scholar psychological well being wants, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a decent job market in some areas for brand spanking new graduates and the state doesn’t require districts to have any counselors or social employees in any respect.

    A latest search on EdJoin, an internet job board for California educators, confirmed 493 openings for college counselors. It’s unclear how an extra 10,000 counselors, social employees and different psychological well being professionals will be capable to discover work, particularly in aggressive areas like Los Angeles or the Bay Space.

    However Thurmond is assured that districts will proceed to develop their counseling and social employee staffs, and that these 10,000 new psychological well being professionals will discover positions – particularly in rural and low-income areas, the place the necessity is increased. And so they received’t be restricted to colleges, based on the invoice: they might additionally work at neighborhood clinics, public well being companies or nonprofits that present psychological well being providers to younger individuals. The grants additionally aren’t restricted to high school counselors, social employees or psychologists – marriage or household therapists and scientific social employees and counselors are additionally eligible to take part.

    San Bernardino Metropolis Unified is among the many districts that’s been increasing its counseling workers, and is grateful for any efforts to extend and diversify the pool of certified candidates. The district at the moment has 82 counselors and 65 psychologists, and lately employed 16 nurses and a social employee.

    “It is vital for our lawmakers to grasp the various wants of our college students and the assets and assist buildings that colleges have to successfully service the ‘complete’ scholar, not simply the tutorial a part of the coed,” district spokeswoman Maria Garcia mentioned.

    Recruiting 10,000 new psychological well being professionals received’t remedy the psychological well being disaster in a single day, nor will it work if it’s an remoted measure, Thurmond mentioned. It’s meant to be a part of the state’s broader effort to assist younger people who find themselves struggling. The state’s latest $3 billion funding in neighborhood colleges with on-campus clinics, together with investments in social-emotional studying, summer time and after-school enrichment applications, hyperlinks between Medi-Cal and colleges, common preschool and different initiatives are additionally meant to ease college students via the previous few years of hardship.

    ‘It will be an enormous burden lifted’

    For Priscilla Park, a latest college counseling graduate and resident of Buena Park, the street to turning into a faculty counselor began together with her personal expertise as a highschool scholar. The daughter of immigrants, she lacked steering when making use of for faculties, and ended up taking up way more debt than she was comfy with when she enrolled in a non-public school in Illinois.

    “I simply thought it was one thing everybody did, that it was the worth of an training,” Park mentioned. “I didn’t have monetary literacy.” She later enrolled in a counseling program at Cal State Lengthy Seaside.

    Whereas working as a faculty trainer, she knew it might be a long time earlier than she might repay her school loans, a proven fact that hung over her continually. By turning into a counselor, she might earn extra money and stop different college students from making the identical errors she did.

    The concept of $25,000 grants, she mentioned, “is superb. It will be an enormous burden lifted for therefore many college students who’re simply barely making it – working a number of jobs, supporting households.”

    For Bailey Adling, a $25,000 grant would have made an enormous distinction in his graduate college expertise at Cal State Lengthy Seaside. For starters, he wouldn’t have needed to work a number of days per week in its place trainer, permitting him to focus extra on his classwork and internships.

    “It’s onerous. You’re making an attempt to assist college students and be there for them, if you’re simply making an attempt to outlive your self, questioning in case your primary wants are going to be met this month,” he mentioned. “It takes a toll by yourself psychological well being.”

    As a lot as he struggled, Adling has no regrets. He plans to graduate along with his grasp’s this summer time and begin working as a faculty counselor this fall. He’s already had 5 job interviews.

    “Now that I’m virtually completed, I do know that that is the profession I like,” he mentioned. “College counselors have such an vital function to play. I’m so excited to be doing this work. It’s what I used to be meant to be.”

    Thurmond labored as a youth social employee for a couple of decade in Oakland and elsewhere earlier than operating for public workplace. His expertise with younger individuals in want “has knowledgeable every part I’ve completed as a legislator and as state superintendent,” he mentioned.

    However he is aware of firsthand how onerous it may be to enter the career. As a graduate scholar in social work at Bryn Mawr School in Pennsylvania, he felt fortunate to land an internship that paid and a job that included housing. With out that, he mentioned, he by no means would have graduated.

    “I’m grateful now we have assets proper now to fund these initiatives,” Thurmond mentioned. “No different state has prioritized scholar psychological well being as aggressively as California has. I hope different states head in the identical path.”

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  •  trillion infrastructure bill not a done deal yet. Here’s what you get if it passes

    $1 trillion infrastructure bill not a done deal yet. Here’s what you get if it passes

    $100 bills

    With the Senate passage of the infrastructure plan, the $1.2 trillion bill moves to the House.

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    With the Senate approving the bipartisan infrastructure bill Aug. 10,  the $1 trillion spending package now moves to the House for a vote. If signed into law, the bill would authorize federal investments in roads and bridgesbroadband internet, public transit and electric utilities. 

    While it could amount to one of the biggest infrastructure packages in more than a decade, the pared-down bill doesn’t address what some are calling “human infrastructure,” including federal funding for education, health care, child care, climate initiatives and housing. That’s left for a separate-but-complementary $3.5 trillion spending plan being hashed out by the Democrats. The Senate took the first step toward that broader investment package following the infrastructure bill vote and sketched out plans to move forward through “budget reconciliation,” a legislative tool that would allow Democrats to approve the plan without any Republican support. 

    The price tag for these two bills is large, and a lot can happen before the final legislation is passed. We’ll explain what Congress is working on, a possible timetable for the spending packages and how they could directly help you. If you want to know more about additional tax relief, here’s a primer on the child tax credit payments and the continuing unemployment tax refunds. This story was updated with new information.

    What does the Senate’s infrastructure bill include?

    Approved by the Senate with the support of 19 Republican senators, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would authorize new federal spending over five years. The bill — created by a bipartisan group of senators including Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — now moves over to the House of Representatives for a vote. According to President Joe Biden, projects funded by the bill would add “around 2 million jobs per year over the course of the decade.” Here are details on which infrastructure areas would receive funding.

    • Public transit, airports and rail, including money for mass transit, passenger and freight rail, airports and ports and waterways.
    • Roads and bridges, with funding to either repair or rebuild roads and bridges, including for cyclists and pedestrians.
    • Electric vehicles, including money to construct a network of electric vehicle chargers and electrify school and transit buses. 
    • Water, sewer, power systems and environmental remediation, including funding to replace the nation’s lead pipe service lines and improve its power grid.
    • Broadband: The deal includes $65 billion to improve the country’s broadband system. The plan originally proposed $100 billion to provide accessible, high-speed internet service.

    How soon the House of Representatives could take up the bill is unclear. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing the House back into session the week of Aug. 23.

    What does the Senate’s ‘human infrastructure’ package include?

    After passing the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, the Senate approved the blueprint for a $3.5 trillion budget resolution. Unlike the infrastructure bill, with its focus on rebuilding the roads, bridges and power supply of the country, money from the proposed budget is supposed to focus on investment that would benefit individuals and families. And unlike that bipartisan bill, the package will likely move forward through a process called budget reconciliation, without needing Republican support.

    Here are four key areas Senate Democrats are focusing on in the upcoming spending plan, which could be announced in several weeks:

    Families and education: Fund universal preschool, with a new child care benefit for families; make community college tuition-free for two years; extend this year’s child tax credit and earned income tax credit beyond 2021; and create a federal paid family and medical leave program.

    Climate: Work to meet the administration’s goal for the US to get 80% of its power from emissions-free sources by 2030 by funding a collection of clean-energy initiatives, including rebates for individuals and families for home electrification and weatherization.

    Infrastructure: Fund public housing, green and sustainable housing; rehabilitate aging Veterans Administration buildings and hospitals; and provide workforce development and job training programs.

    Health care: Expand federal health care benefits by adding dental, vision and hearing benefits to the Medicare program; fund in-home and community-based services to help seniors, persons with disabilities and home care workers; and work to reduce prescription drug costs.

    When could the two bills officially become law? 

    Right now it’s unclear when either bill will pass both chambers and get signed into law. Now that the Senate has voted on the infrastructure bill, the House needs to approve it, which could take some time. As for the broader spending plan, congressional committees have been directed to craft the pieces of the Democrats’ bill by Sept. 15.

    Pelosi intends to bring the House back from a break to take up both spending bills.


    The infrastructure bill doesn’t promise any direct economic relief to working families. 

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Will there be any other economic relief aid on the way? 

    Ever since the $1,400 stimulus payments under the American Rescue Plan, millions still struggling with economic hardship from the pandemic have speculated about when more aid could be on the agenda. Here’s an update:

    Another stimulus payment: The IRS is still making one-time payments for the third stimulus check as well as circling back to send “plus-up” payments to those it either missed paying or underpaid. There is no commitment by the White House to a fourth round of payments, and it looks less likely, given the vaccine rollout and recent signs of an economic rebound. One form of financial relief has come to families through the 2021 child tax credit, which was expanded this year. There are also additional stimulus payments in the state of California and $1,000 bonuses going to educators in some states. 

    Minimum wage hike to $15 an hour: With the current federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour (the same level since 2009), some legislators have proposed boosting that hourly rate up to $10 per hour or as high as $15 per hour. On July 28, the Biden administration issued an executive order that would increase the minimum wage for federal government contractors to $15 an hour starting Jan. 30, 2022. Over the past several years, some 30 states, the District of Columbia and 45 localities have raised their minimum wage to above the federal level. Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would benefit at least 17 million people, but talks on the matter have stalled. 

    Student loan cancellation: With student loan debt reaching $1.7 trillion at the end of 2020 — with an average loan amount of $30,000 — student debt is higher than debt from auto loans and credit cards. In March, the Biden administration canceled some $2.3 billion in student loan debt for a handful of borrowers. This summer, another $500 million got erased for former students defrauded by ITT Technical Institute, a for-profit chain that closed in 2016. Still, that’s just a fraction of the roughly 43 million people who have debilitating student loan debt. At the end of July, Biden extended the pause on federal student loan repayments till Jan. 21, 2022, but said nothing about broadly canceling student debt.

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    Stimulus plus-up payments: What you need to know