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House Passes Resolution Recognizing School Counselors

On January 23, the House passed, by voice vote, a resolution (H. Res. 932) recognizing February 4 through February 8, 2008, as “National School Counseling Week.”

Sponsored by Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • school counselors help develop well-rounded students by guiding them through their academic, personal, social, and career development;
  • school counselors play a vital role in ensuring that students are aware of financial aid and college opportunities;
  • school counselors may encourage students to pursue challenging academic courses to prepare them for college majors and careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields; and
  • the average student-to-counselor ratio in America’s public schools, 476-to-1, is almost double the 250-to-1 ratio recommended by the American School Counselor Association, the American Counseling Association, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and other organizations.

    “High school is a transition period into adulthood and the world of work,” said Rep. Sánchez. “As students make this transition, some need additional help to keep up in class, others get distracted by family issues or bad behavior, and still others might get involved with gangs and crime. But a good school counselor can intervene, working with parents and teachers to get students back on track…One other thing prevents me from naming more counselors who have made a difference in the lives of their students, and that’s the fact that there aren’t nearly enough of them. Nationwide, the average student-to-counselor ratio is 476-1, almost double the 250-1 recommended ratio. In California, unfortunately this ratio is a dismal 920-1.”

    Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL) said, “School counselors serve as a vital resource for parents by helping them focus on ways to further the educational, personal, and social growth of their children. They work with teachers and other educators to help students explore their potential and set realistic goals for themselves. They often seek to identify and utilize community resources that can enhance and complement comprehensive school counseling programs that help students become productive members of society. These comprehensive developmental school counseling programs are considered an integral part of the educational process which enables all students to achieve.”

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