1998 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Farris, Gollott, Furniss, Smith, Burton, Browning, Frazier, Huggins, Jackson, Rayborn
Senate Bill 3143
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL EXPEND ITS ALLOTMENT OF FUNDS FOR AT-RISK PUPIL PROGRAMS UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI ADEQUATE EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR THE PURPOSE OF EMPLOYING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELORS BASED UPON STUDENT ENROLLMENT; TO PROVIDE THAT ANY UNUSED AT-RISK PUPIL PROGRAM FUNDS SHALL BE EXPENDED FOR THE PURPOSE OF EMPLOYING ELEMENTARY TEACHER ASSISTANTS OR HIGH SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELORS; TO PROVIDE CERTAIN CONDITIONS ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF STATE-FUNDED SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELORS AND TO PRESCRIBE THE COMPREHENSIVE COUNSELING SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Beginning with the 2002-2003 school year, each school district shall expend its allotment of funds for at-risk pupil programs under the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, as prescribed in Section 37-151-7(1)(d), Mississippi Code of 1972, to employ elementary school guidance counselors based upon the following formula:
STATE-FUNDED COUNSELOR STUDENT ENROLLMENT
(2) Not less than one (1) elementary school guidance counselor shall be employed by each school district using adequate education program funds and any unused at-risk pupil program funds under Section 37-151-7(1)(d), Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be expended by school districts for employing teacher assistants in Grades K-3, as authorized by Section 37-21-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, or for employing guidance counselors for Grades 7-12.
(3) The assignment of state-funded guidance counselors to the particular schools within the district shall be at the discretion of the local school board with the following restrictions:
(a) The counselor/student ratio shall be no greater than 1:400;
(b) No individual shall be employed as a school guidance counselor without appropriate training and certification as determined by the State Department of Education; and
(c) School guidance 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 relating to counseling services.
(4) State-funded school counselors shall provide the following comprehensive counseling services: (a) academic and personal advisement; (b) student assessment and assessment consultation; (c) career and educational planning; (d) individual and group counseling; (e) preventive classroom counseling activities and crisis intervention; (f) referrals to community agencies; (g) educational consultation with teachers, administrators, parents, and community leaders; (h) educational and career placement services; and (i) follow-up counseling services.
(5) Nothing in this section shall prohibit any school district from employing with local funds more school guidance counselors than are provided for in this section.
(6) The State Department of Education may adopt regulations regarding the activities of the school guidance counselor as are not inconsistent with this section.
SECTION 2. All new programs authorized in this act are subject to the availability of funds specifically appropriated therefor by the Legislature.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.