Students would be able to submit notes from licensed mental health providers and counselors to obtain excused absences from school under a pair of bills now pending in the state legislature. Currently, only notes from licensed practicing physicians are recognized as grounds for a student’s excused school absence.
Sponsored by Tampa Democrat Rep. Susan L. Valdes, HB 289 authorizes school districts to allow licensed professionals including mental health providers and counselors to write notes attesting to sickness or injury for a certain exemption to the attendance policy.
A twin bill SB 1070 is pending in the state Senate.
HB 289 is now under review in the Florida House’s Secondary Education and Career Development Subcommittee.
If signed into law it would become effective on July 1.