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Texas Falls Short in Staffing Schools with Counselors, Nurses

March 13, 2019 • Zach DiSchiano

Texas Falls Short in Staffing Schools with Counselors, Nurses

A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) identified a major gap in the availability of counselors and nurses in public schools across the nation, and Texas districts are among those not meeting the recommended professional standards.

The report stated all but three states come up vastly short of the recommended 250:1 student-to-counselor ratio. In Texas, that ratio is 434:1.

The country is slightly better at staffing schools with nurses, with 19 states meeting the preferred 750:1 student-to-nurse ratio, but Texas is once again showing a need for improvement with a ratio of 831:1.

One of the potential factors in the failure to provide the preferred number of much-needed counselors and nurses is the emphasis on budgeting for police officers as many districts look to strengthen their security amidst a litany of school shootings over the past decade. As a result, many students are attending school without a large portion of resources they need at the expense of overstaffing safety officers.

The report included the following data points:

  • 1.7 million students are in schools with police but no counselors.
  • 3 million students are in schools with police but no nurses.
  • 6 million students are in schools with police but no school psychologists.
  • 10 million students are in schools with police but no social workers.

For more information, check out this EdWeek report or the ACLU study itself.

Tagged: Staffing