Governor Sununu Signs HB 1558 into Law
New Hampshire's Governor Sununu signed HB 1558 into law in July 2020, directing the NH Department of Education to support MTSS-B development in school districts across the state.
The bill's language includes:
“38:26 Short Title. Sections 27 through 30 of this act shall be known as the Children's System of Care in Schools Act of 2020.
38:27 Purpose Statement. The general court recognizes that the ongoing mental health, substance misuse, and child protection crises have taken a significant toll on New Hampshire’s children, families, and taxpayers and New Hampshire schools are challenged daily to support the behavioral health needs of students while promoting academic achievement for all students. In response, many New Hampshire school districts are using an evidenced-based prevention framework to support the behavioral health and wellness of all students, called multi-tiered system of supports for behavioral health and wellness, or MTSS-B. MTSS-B is an integral part of building a coordinated, comprehensive, and community-based system of care as required under RSA 135-F and a key strategy to keep children in their home schools and communities. There is evidence which demonstrates that high-fidelity implementation of the framework is directly correlated with reduced exclusionary discipline shown through reduced student discipline referrals, enhanced overall behavioral health, enhanced attendance, improved academic achievement, and enhanced school climate. The framework does not prescribe a particular strategy or curriculum for school districts, but rather offers school districts the support and ability to choose what works for their own communities.
The commissioner of the department of education shall:
I. To the extent possible within existing statutory and budgetary constraints, support the system of care established under this chapter through:
(a) The development of a multi-tiered system of supports for New Hampshire schools and support for school districts implementing MTSS-B through technical assistance and professional development, including the use of external consultation training and coaching services.
(b) Alignment of federal funding to support local school districts implementing a multi-tiered system of support.
(c) Technical assistance to local school districts regarding the use of federal funds to implement and maintain MTSS-B.
(d) Technical assistance to local school districts on the use of research- and data-driven decision-making, organized and shared leadership, support for personnel through embedded professional development, and purposefully planned implementation cycles with continuous evaluation for improvement of outcomes.