Pass the MN Senate File #862 to add more school counselors
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The purpose of this petition is to pass a bill that will provide students the help they need in school. This bill will grant additional funds to districts around the state to ensure that the schools have a healthy balance of students to counselors. This will mandate the counselor to student ratio ensuring that schools have proper mental health and educational resources available to all students. The funding will be going to public high schools. Minnesota is 48th in the nation with the student to counselor ratio with a 792 to 1 ratio. The national average is 460 to 1. While the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends an average of 250 to 1 ratio. Currently, counselors and students are over reached with time and ability. Counselors in the school mandate testing, college applications, student parent relationships, 504 plans, special education, class scheduling, and much more. Adding on a caseload of 600 students makes it difficult for a counselor to get all their work done and continue to reach out to students and give them the resources they need. Students are currently being left behind in learning about different opportunities post high school and career guidance. Counselors are also a major key in helping student with mental health. As issues are arising, having a more personal connection with a counselor could lower the mental health risks and worries within the youth. In the past year there has been an abundant number of school shooting from mentally unstable people. Many states such as Maine, Idaho, Alabama, Iowa, North Dakota, and more have mandates about keeping the ratio to a minimum. Making the new mandate 400, minimizes the amount of students without making to big of a leap.
This senate bill should be passed to help all students in Minnesota have their needs met. Mental illness is not something that should be hidden.
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