2007 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Harden
AN ACT TO PROVIDE AN ALLOTMENT OF FUNDS UNDER THE ADEQUATE EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR THE PURPOSE OF EMPLOYING SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELORS (K-12) BASED UPON SCHOOL STUDENT ENROLLMENT, TO PROVIDE CERTAIN CONDITIONS ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF STATE-FUNDED SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELORS AND TO PRESCRIBE THE COMPREHENSIVE COUNSELING SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED TO INCLUDE CRISIS INTERVENTION AND PREVENTION AND DROPOUT PREVENTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, in addition to other funds allotted under the minimum education program, each school district shall be allotted funding to employ school guidance counselors in Grades K-12 based upon the following formula:
STATE-FUNDED COUNSELOR STUDENT ENROLLMENT BY SCHOOL
(2) The State Department of Education may, however, increase the number of positions funded each year beyond the above requirements as money is made available.
(3) The assignment of state-funded guidance counselors to the particular schools with 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 1:250;
(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 a minimum of eighty-five percent (85%) of work time in direct counseling relationships with students.
(4) State-funded school counselors shall provide the following comprehensive counseling services:
(a) Academic and personal/social counseling;
(b) Student assessment and assessment counseling;
(c) Career and educational counseling;
(d) Individual and group counseling (large/small);
(e) Crisis intervention and preventive counseling;
(f) Dropout prevention counseling;
(g) Referrals to community agencies;
(h) Educational consultation and collaboration with teachers, administrators, parents and community leaders;
(i) Educational and career placement services; and
(j) 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, 2007.