A non-profit organization this week presented to the Senate’s E-12 Education Committee, urging lawmakers to design policies and potentially find funding to limit student screen time on electronic devices.
The group LiveMore ScreenLess urges lawmakers to enact policies but did not have specific legislation provided at the meeting. The group provides services, training and workshops to educators, school, parents, and other organizations. They did not specifically ask for funding. LiveMore ScreenLess is a 501 (C3) non-profit organization and has board members from numerous corporations, medical and educational professionals.
The pandemic has amplified a mental health crisis occurring in Minnesota schools and educators, parents and students hope to re-open schools safely soon. Minnesota also has one of the worst counselors to student ratios with roughly 1 counselor for every 655 students. Governor Walz has proposed just under $50 million to enhance school support staff numbers that would include providing additional counselors and school nurses, psychologists, social workers, and chemical dependency counselors. No one from the Department of Education or Department of Health testified at the meeting.
Expect legislation in the coming weeks of the session.