- Education Week reports Minnesota, Tennessee, Colorado and Indiana are among the states spending more money on school counselors this year, following cuts driven by tight budgets during the Great Recession.
- Minnesota will spend $12 million on counselors, social workers, nurses and school psychologists for 77 schools, Tennessee will use $7.2 million over three years to increase the number of college counselors in schools, Colorado is expanding an initial $15 million investment because that one was so successful, and the Lilly Endowment in Indiana has pledged $30 million.
- An Education Week analysis of federal data found nearly 30% of K-12 schools have no counselors on staff at all, and where there are counselors, their caseloads are nearly twice as large as the American School Counselor Association recommends — yet a study in Colorado showed every $1 invested in counseling saved $20 in potential costs from students who would have dropped out of school.
Under No Child Left Behind’s accountability system, schools were unduly motivated to focus on test prep in math and English/language arts. When the Great Recession hit, “non-core” classes like art, music and physical education were the first to be cut in many schools, along with “non-core” personnel like social workers and counselors. On both matters there has since been a reversal.
Besides states’ reinvestment in school counseling outlined by Education Week, the Every Student Succeeds Act places a heavy emphasis on educating the “whole child.” Federal education policy now aims to make sure schools do not get a sense of tunnel vision on tested subjects but instead are held accountable for providing holistic educational opportunities and supports.