Texas Senate approves bill establishing policies for public school counselors
AUSTIN, Texas A bill by state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) allowing school counselors to better assist students with academic and other problems like dropping out and teen pregnancies was approved today by the Texas Senate.
Senate Bill 251 is aimed at improving our public school system and ensuring the future success of our Texas youth, remarked Sen. Lucio. A counselor should be able to focus primarily on prevention and intervention techniques to help students avoid or curb behavior that is risky or destructive.
Additionally, this bill will help define a counselors role in administering and evaluating assessment tests.
The bills major provisions are:
- to require the board of trustees in each school district to adopt a policy effective 2004-2005 on the appropriate use of a counselors time with respect to counseling and guidance activities;
- to prohibit time spent administering assessment tests to count as time dedicated to counseling and guidance activities;
- to expand the Texas Education Agencys (TEAs) District Effectiveness and Compliance (DEC) investigations to assess a districts fulfillment of its local guidance and counseling policy.
Given the climate of violence and learning problems facing our children, this bill would help public school counselors spend more time addressing all students needs, meeting with parents, increasing the effectiveness of student education and promoting student success, added Sen. Lucio.
Note: Staff member handling legislation is Ms. Perla Cavazos, senior policy analyst, 512-463-0385.
The bill will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.