Jefferson County student helps Kentucky lawmakers write mental health bill

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Jefferson County student helps Kentucky lawmakers write mental health bill


House Bill 44 gives Kentucky students up to 10 excused absences which can be used to “pursue an educational enhancement opportunity.”

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Three Kentucky students, including Kameron Julian of Jefferson County, worked with Kentucky lawmakers to pass a bill that helps students pursue various educational opportunities without impacting their grades.

House Bill 44 gives Kentucky students up to 10 excused absences which can be used to “pursue an educational enhancement opportunity.” The absence must be pre-approved by the student’s school principal.  

These enhancement opportunities can include participation in educational foreign exchange programs or intensive programs in one of the state’s core curriculum subjects like English, science, math, social studies or the arts.

Students who use these excused absences will be able to make up missed schoolwork without their grades being affected.

One of the bill’s amendments expands the excused absences to also include days for mental and behavioral health days.

“Both urban and rural, Democrat and Republican, with students who have been impacted by COVID-19, we’ve seen mental health come to the forefront especially in our students as they struggle in school and recover from the pandemic,” Senator Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, said.

Students who have parents or guardians in the armed forces also have days set aside so they can visit their family members.

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