1997 Regular Session
By: Representative Holden
House Bill 1628
AN ACT TO REQUIRE ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO EMPLOY SCHOOL COUNSELORS EACH YEAR UNTIL EACH SCHOOL HAS AT LEAST ONE COUNSELOR; TO AUTHORIZE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS TO ASSIGN SCHOOL COUNSELORS TO PARTICULAR SCHOOLS; TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO EMPLOY A SUPERVISOR OF COUNSELORS AND TO ISSUE REGULATIONS REGARDING THE SERVICES OF SUCH COUNSELORS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Beginning with the 1997-1998 school year, each school district shall employ no less than one (1) school counselor for every five hundred (500) students in average daily attendance in the school district. Each school year thereafter, an additional school counselor shall be employed by the school district until each school in the district has one (1) school counselor.
(2) The assignment of the school counselors to the particular schools in a school district shall be at the discretion of the local school board with the following restrictions:
(a) The counselor:student ratio at any school shall be no greater than 1:500, or one (1) counselor per school building, whichever is less.
(b) No individual shall be employed as a school counselor without appropriate training and certification as a school counselor by the State Department of Education.
(3) School counselors shall be full-time professional personnel, shall spend at least seventy-five percent (75%) of work time in a direct counseling relationship with pupils, and shall devote no more than one-fourth (1/4) of the work day to administrative activities which are counselor related.
(4) Nothing in this act shall prohibit any school district from employing more school counselors than are required under this act.
(5) The State Department of Education shall employ a supervisor of counselors who holds certification as a school counselor. The supervisor's responsibilities shall include the oversight of the new counseling programs as well as existing counseling programs.
(6) The State Department of Education may adopt rules and regulations regarding the duties and activities of the school counselor. The school counselor may perform such services that are not inconsistent with the rules and regulations.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.