Kelly Skellenger says a pair of bills pending in the Oregon Legislature would direct the state education department to hire and place more social workers in our schools.

Oregon high school dropout rates are among the highest in the country, and our graduate rate is among the lowest in the nation. This crisis is shaped by multiple economic variables and contributed to by chronic absenteeism.

A leading factor that leads to complications in adult life is a lack of resources which address mental health issues and behavioral problems. School social workers are the professionals that are trained to address these issues, and we don't have enough of them, currently only 36 in the entire state.

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