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Study shows high student-to-school counselor ratio in Arizona

Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 23:36:44-05

A new study shows Arizona has a very high student-to-school-counselor ratio.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends a ratio of 250 students per school counselor.

According to the ASCA study, Arizona has 924 students per school counselor.

ASCA says it compiled data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. 

Corey Harris, Executive Director of Arizona School Counselor Association, thinks the reason for the shortage is two-fold. 

One, some districts aren't hiring in light of budget cuts and two, Arizona doesn't offer competitive pay.

Harris says recent school shootings show the need for school counselors, especially when it comes to identifying red flags.

"I know that our school counselors are trained in being able to identify those things but if they only get a quarter of the time that they're supposed to be getting with these kids -- how do they have time to get to know that child?" Harris said. "Get to know that they're having a tough time?"

Representative Bob Thorpe introduced House Bill 2326 that would increase school counselor's salary. 

However, Harris says it's yet to get a hearing.

View the study here