The Iowa House has voted to give Iowa school districts with arrangements to share staff — like a superintendent — the authority to hire a licensed social worker who’d work with students in both districts.

Representative Jacob Bossman, a Republican from Sioux City, was just elected to the House last month.

“There is a fiscal impact, however I believe that is a small price to pay to ensure our youth in Iowa public schools have access to the mental health services that so many desperately need,” Bossman says. The bill does not require that schools hire a social worker.

“This isn’t something that every school district is going to pursue, but it provides one more option to that access and I thik that’s something that we all should strongly support,” Bossman says.

Representative Phil Miller, a Democrat from Fairfield who served on his community’s school board, is another first-year legislator who won his seat in a special election.

“Having a social worker in a school is a very good idea, especially today when we have lots of things that our students are faced with,” Miller says.

Representative Marti Anderson, a Democrat from Des Moines, is a licensed social worker who served as president for the National Association of Social Workers chapter in Iowa.

“I have seen the wonderful work that school social workers do,” Anderson said, “and I urge the body to adopt this and make that good service available to more of our children.”

The bill passed the House on a 96-to-0 vote. It now goes to the senate for consideration.