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3/2/2023 Whip Kazarian and Chairwoman Sosnowski’s bill calls for more school social workers
STATE HOUSE – House Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian and Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman V. Susan Sosnowski have introduced a bill that would bring more highly needed social workers into our schools.
The legislation (2023-H 5396, 2023-S 0258) would require all public schools, throughout grades K-12, to have at least one full-time certified school social worker for every 250 students.
“I have been calling for more social workers in our schools for many years and now, after the pandemic and the mental, social and educational disruption that ensued, the need for more mental health support in our schools is greater than ever and cannot be ignored.  There have been far too many tragedies within our country’s schools in the recent years and social workers are the first line of defense in making sure such atrocities do not happen.  We need to invest in more school social workers because it’s actually an investment in the health and safety of our children,” said Whip Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence, Pawtucket).
“This bill will finally get Rhode Island to the national standards that properly support our children in schools.  Mental health issues and crises suffered by our students are at all-time highs and the need for more social workers in our schools is critical to the health and well-being of our students.  This investment is long overdue and necessary to prevent the types of incidents we sadly see happening across the country,” said Chairwoman Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown).
The bill would also direct the General Assembly to appropriate $2 million in the FY 2024 state budget to be used by the various school districts and municipalities to employ additional school social workers.
Whip Kazarian’s bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee and Chairwoman Sosnowski’s bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903