Lack of school counselors is impacting schools across the state

Elected officials are wanting to see more counselors in Indiana schools.

Posted: Aug. 31, 2018 7:04 PM

Lafayette, IND. (WLFI) - Elected officials are wanting to see more counselors in Indiana schools.

According to recent numbers, Indiana is eighth in the nation for largest number of students per school counselor. Meaning there is more strain on counselors to address student's career and behavioral problems.

“It's 50 students to one career counselor and we need not only career counseling, and skilled career counselors but also we need behavioral counselors,” said Indiana District 27 State Representative Sheila Klinker.

Klinker is part of the Interim Study Committee on Education. They are discussing current workload of career counselors and how to get them more funding.

Lafayette schools are currently in the beginning stages of setting up The Greater Lafayette Career Academy for students. However there are still a lot of problems to solve.

"The current workload of our school corporations career counselors is too many," she said.

Klinker says this is putting unnecessary pressures on everyone.

"There's a lot of pressure on both the parents and the students as well as the teachers," she said.

But she is advocating to help fix this problem in schools, not just in her district, but across the state.

"Makes it necessary to not only encourage greater funding per counselor but also to encourage the state to fund this sort of work," she said.

She said there is demand for more than just the traditional counselors. Klinker said multiple school districts from Tippecanoe County and surrounding counties will feed into the new academy and she wants the students to have adequate support from counselors.

"We want a situation where we not only have guidance counselors and behavioral counselors but also those who are strictly dealing with careers," she said.

Klinker believes the biggest hurdle is financing, and this year is a budget year at the statehouse.
If the study isn't ready for this legislative session, they may need to wait until 2021

They plan to discuss this issue more when they meet again on October 4th.

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