Rep. Linda Sánchez introduces legislation to put more counselors in schools with high dropout rates
Washington, DC- Today, Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA-38) introduced the “Put School Counselors Where They’re Needed Act,” legislation that would provide funding for additional counselors in high schools with high dropout rates.
“School counselors are often the bridge that help keep at-risk students in school,” said Rep. Sánchez. “We must place more counselors in schools that have high numbers of at-risk students. No child should be left behind because his or her school does not have the funding necessary to afford enough school counselors.”
The American School Counselor Association and the American Counseling Association recommend a ratio of one school counselor to 250 students and an even lower ratio for counselors working primarily with students at risk. But the average student-to-counselor ratio in California’s public schools is more than 1,016 to one, a ratio that hardly allows for individual attention and intensive support. With student populations between two and four thousand at many large Los Angeles-area high schools, additional personal attention and follow-up from professional counselors will help ensure our children don’t miss out on a quality education.
The “Put School Counselors Where They’re Needed Act” would address this problem by providing funding for additional counselors in high schools with high dropout rates. These additional counselors would work with students at risk and would collaborate with parents, teachers, tutors, employers, and others to create a comprehensive plan to get these students back on the right track.
“Seven thousand students drop out of high school every day,” continued Sánchez. “Professional school counselors can spot early on potential problems in a student’s academic career and address them before that student drops out of school because his or her problems are too overwhelming.”
This legislation is supported by the American School Counselor Association, National Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.