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Lawmakers OK excused absences for student mental health

The amended bill will also create uniformity for how Virginia school districts address emotional and mental health needs within its schools.
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RICHMOND, Va. — The General Assembly passed an amended bill that will allow K-12 students excused absences for mental health issues and will create uniformity for how Virginia school districts address emotional and mental health needs within its schools.

House Bill 308, introduced by Arlington Democratic Del. Patrick Hope would give the Virginia Department of Education until Dec. 31 to establish guidelines for public school districts to grant students excused absences if they are dealing with mental or behavioral health issues. 

DOE spokesman Charles Pyle said it’s too early to know what guidance the DOE would issue.