August 6, 2004

Senate Bill 1951: Children's Mental Health Act

Senator M. Maggie Crotty (D-19th District)

Recently SB 1951 was passed by the Illinois legislature and signed by the Governor. This bill consolidates mental health programs and treatments. The bill will not affect homeschool families. The only requirement is that there needs to be "uniform protocols for implementing screening and assessment of children prior to any admission to an in-patient hospital for psychiatric services." Therefore this new law does not require children to automatically get a mental health assessment. It only requires children who are in families who are seeking medical help for their child's mental health problems.

However, children who are in public schools may feel an impact partially of this new law because it will require the Illinois State Board of Education to "develop and implement a plan to incorporate social and emotional development standards as part of the Illinois Learning Standards for the purpose of enhancing and measuring children's school readiness and ability to achieve academic success." The draft language of this plan can be seen by clicking on the link below. We believe, at HSLDA, that this only applies to children who will be attending or are attending public school pre-school programs. This is not applicable to private schools, according to the language of SB 1951.

Nonetheless, we will be watching carefully the implementation of this bill to ensure that there is no attempt to go beyond the new law and mandate all of children to have to follow these "social and emotional developmental standards." We believe that the lesson from this bill is, once again, that sending the children to public school will open your family to these types of problems and limit your parental rights and controls over the training of your children.

08/08/2004Effective date of Act

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA opposed this bill.

 Other Resources

Draft of State Board of Education Plan   (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill Text

Bill History