Arizona Department of Education allocates millions toward school counselors

A desk sits empty Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Mankato, Minn.
A desk sits empty Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Mankato, Minn.(KEYC)
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 2:01 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Arizona Department of Education will set aside $21.3 million to support emotional and social professionals in the state’s public schools.

The money will specifically fund Arizona’s School Safety Grant Program, which, in turn, will funnel more federal relief toward counselor and social worker waitlists, “bringing opportunities for 71 school counselor and 69 school social worker positions to schools for two years,” according to a news release from the education department.

“Over the last year, the social and emotional needs of our students have risen to the forefront of my conversations with teachers, parents and even lawmakers. After a genuinely traumatic year, I’ve heard clearly that the social-emotional services offered by our public schools are critical to student wellbeing,” Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said in a statement. “By supplementing the School Safety Grant Program with federal relief funds, we are providing real solutions and resources that will have a direct impact on school safety, the social-emotional well-being of our students, and the overall health of our communities.”

However, even with this new funding, the education department said in a statement, the student-to-counselor ratio far exceeds the recommended standard.

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