Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., will introduce legislation to hire more mental health providers for schools, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting.
Nelson said the legislation is designed to help curb school shootings throughout the U.S., according to the newspaper.
"We can't allow what happened in Parkland, (Florida) and in Texas to become the new normal in this country," he said
"We have to do more to protect our kids in school and ensure that any student who needs mental health services is able to get them."
Nelson cited a 2016 report from the Florida Association of School Psychologists showing Florida has one school psychologist for every 1,983 students — about a fourth of the recommended number, the Sentinel said.
Nelson's legislation would provide education grants to colleges that team with low-income school districts to train mental health professions. It would also allow officials to forgive students loans for anyone working at least five years in low-income schools, the newspaper reported.
Following the most recent school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, argued mental health is part of the overall problem, CNN reported.
"Of course, it has something to do with guns, but it mainly has something to do with who's pulling the trigger and people with mental health and mental health crises," he said.
"People who can't legally purchase firearms and possess them because they're felons or otherwise have a disqualifying record — there's a lot of things we need to keep looking at."
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