The Department of Education’s 2017 creation of new pathways to high school graduation increased the workload of school counselors without providing the necessary resources to handle such an increase.
School counselors have the demanding responsibilities of the students’ mental and emotional well-being, academic performance and preparation for college or the job market.
According to the American School Counselor Association, Indiana school counselors are working at double the recommended workload.
When any of our school personnel are overworked, the quality of the educational experience is bound to suffer.
The Department of Education’s 2017 initiative is admirable but amounts to an unfunded mandate. When an educational goal is expanded, the necessary resources should be provided to meet that goal.
During an August meeting of the Indiana Interim Study Committee on Education Issues, lawmakers heard from the American School Counselor Association and briefly discussed adding virtual schools to the agenda.
We hope that the ongoing legal battle between Daleville Community Schools and two virtual schools serve as an example of the pitfalls of entrusting an outside organization with responsibilities traditionally entrusted to our school districts. In this case, even more time and money is being spent attempting to obtain student transcripts after the virtual schools were closed for mismanagement, time and money that should’ve been used on providing students with the best education possible.
Indiana students deserve to have dedicated and attentive personnel in their schools’ counseling departments.
The Department of Education should provide additional funding to support additional hires to meet the increased demands of its programs.