Provide More Funding for K-12 School Counselors

Target: Dr. Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education

Goal: Provide a larger budget for the counseling department of K-12 schools in order to increase staff and broaden the spectrum of resources available to students.

Mental health has been ignored and stigmatized in the United States for the entirety of recorded history. Our methods may have changed since the days of sanitariums and electroshock therapy, but the outcome is about the same. We still sweep it under the rug because of stigma and shame. This mentality begins at a very young age, and children are not educated well enough about mental health. 

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends just one counselor per every 250 students, yet close to 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. live with a severe mental illness and 50% of all chronic mental illness begins before the age of 14. With those statistics in mind, and the fact that the majority of the typical high school counselor’s workload is focused on class scheduling and making sure each student’s coursework is sufficient for graduation, how would it be humanly possible to meet the needs of the children who need attention paid to the treatment of their mental health issues?

With a larger budget for the counseling departments of all K-12 schools nationwide we could employ more counselors which would allow for more individualized attention. We propose having one-on-one mental health checks at the beginning of every school year, building a mandatory section on mental health into the current curriculum, and the inclusion of a mental health evaluation when taking disciplinary action with students. Will this be expensive? Absolutely; but just think of the heartache and suffering that can be prevented just by taking action and care early on in life. Absolutely; but just think about all of the shootings, suicide, drug use & abuse, suffering, and heartache that can be prevented just by taking initiative, educating, and caring for the youth that desperately need it and may not even know it.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Cardona,

The budget for K-12 school counseling departments nationwide must be increased. The recommended student to counselor ratio is 250:1, which makes it an impossibility for students in need to receive proper attention. Additionally, high school counselors are typically tasked with scheduling responsibilities and ensuring that the students are meeting their graduation requirements rather than caring for our youths’ psychological needs.

An increased budget would also allow for a more comprehensive mental health education program, which would help to de-stigmatize illnesses and other related issues and open up avenues for people of all ages to seek guidance when needed. Our nation’s school counselors have bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in counseling and psychology. Please allow them to use this valuable education to its fullest and help our kids become and stay healthy. Planning for their future shouldn’t just be about coursework and test scores.

Please take this call to action seriously. We cannot afford to just stand idly by and allow all of the shootings, suicides, and drug abuse to continue when we have an invaluable tool at our fingertips.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: NASA


One Comment

  1. Education and guidance is critical to the formation of the minds and lives of our future generations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

252 Signatures

  • Kathryn Fenn
  • Dakotah Woller
  • Kristi Grosse
  • Janet Barnes
  • Paula Lambert
  • Alison Martin
  • Alison Martin
  • Cecilia Lalinde
  • Kevin Crupi
  • Bill Sykes
1 of 25123...25
Skip to toolbar