Multi-Tiered System of Support for Behavioral Health (MTSS-B)
The Multi-Tiered System of Support for Behavioral Health (MTSS-B) is an evidenced-based prevention framework to support the behavioral health and wellness of all students. The MTSS-B framework prioritizes collaboration between schools and community mental health agencies to coordinate systems and train providers to deliver high-fidelity, evidence-based interventions on school grounds. The NH Department of Education’s Office of Social and Emotional Wellness has supported approximately 37 school districts in implementing MTSS-B. MTSS-B is currently funded through several funding streams, including multiple federal grants. In August and September of this year, two of those federal grants are expiring without the ability to renew.
A 2023 Senate Bill (SB 265) looks to make an appropriation that will replace some of the federal grant funds that are expiring. Specifically, it will support positions at the Office of Social and Emotional Wellness that help districts implement MTSS-B. Further, it will provide funding to the technical assistance program, that provides support and resources for best practices to districts implementing MTSS-B. Together, these appropriations will help ensure that schools are able to continue to provide these important services to all students.
New Futures strongly supports SB 265. Coordination of mental health services and education resources through an approach such as MTSS-B increases the likelihood of effectively addressing student and family needs and supporting their overall success. Furthermore, the MTSS-B framework has been shown to reduce student problem behavior and discipline events, enhance school climate, improve school and family partnerships, improve attendance, and improve academic achievement. Funding the MTSS-B framework statewide is imperative to continue to develop an effective system of care and support New Hampshire’s children and families.
SB 265 had a public hearing on February 16th. New Futures offered public testimony in support of this bill.
On March 8th, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 3-2 against the bill, giving it an "inexpedient to legislate" (ITL) recommendation.
Unfortunately, SB265 was defeated on a voice vote in the New Hampshire Senate on March 16th.