Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2001
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez, Press Secretary
512-463-0127

Sen. Eddie Lucio recognized by Texas School Counselor Association for legislation
Rep. Rene Oliveira also recognized as House sponsor of the bill

AUSTIN, TX--Today state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, and state Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville, were recognized by the Texas School Counselor Association at their annual conference in Addison for two bills that impact the work of public school counselors statewide.

During the 77th legislative session, Sen. Lucio authored Senate Bills 518 and 538, and Rep. Oliveira sponsored them in the House of Representatives.

SB 538 - instructs the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to conduct a study of the duties that counselors are currently responsible for performing and examine how their time is distributed amongst them. This detailed study will assess the workload of public school counselors and will identify any changes that should be made in order to provide counselors with the resources and work environments they need.

SB 518 - provides that a school counselor work with the school faculty and staff, students, parents, and the community to plan, implement and evaluate a developmental guidance and counseling program.

"These bills underscored the need to allow counselors to counsel and concentrate on the needs of our youth. For too long, counselors have been forced to take on other duties. That short-changed our students," said Rep. Oliveira.

After being presented with a plaque by the Texas Counseling Association, Sen. Lucio and Rep. Oliveira were then honored at a luncheon hosted by the Texas School Counselor Association.

Sen. Lucio told the audience, "Especially with what's going on in the world today--from tragic events like the one at Columbine to the September 11 terrorists attacks, you are called on to play a bigger role in our children's lives than ever before in this great country's history.

"So it's with a great deal of pride that I sponsored SB 518 and SB 538, as they will have a direct benefit to all the school children of Texas. There is no more noble of a cause then the children of this great state."

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