PRIMER: Getting More School Counselors In AZ Schools

News Release

April 30, 2019

Governor Ducey recognizes the importance of school counselors and their invaluable role in the health and welfare of our children in public schools. That’s why funding for new school counselors is a priority included in Arizona's FY 2020 budget. This initial investment of $12 million additional dollars, part of the Safe Arizona Schools Plan, marks the first time that specific dollars have been included in an executive budget for school counselors.

In his 2019 State of the State address, Governor Ducey said:

“We built a plan that could make a real difference: The Safe Arizona Schools Plan. More cops on campus. More school counselors. Improved background checks. A STOP order that protects Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of the hands of individuals who are a lethal threat. These are solutions that will make schools safer, and it’s time for us to get it done.”

Governor Ducey’s fiscal year 2020 Executive Budget includes $12 million over the next two fiscal years to fund an estimated total of 224 school counselors or social workers. Public schools would receive new school counselors through a school-safety grant program.

When fully implemented, the additional investment in school counselors is estimated to reduce Arizona’s counselor to student caseload by 17 percent.

Here’s what others are saying about the new dollars for school counselors:

  • Arizona School Counselors Association: “We cannot express our incredible excitement and gratitude that Governor Ducey's budget is to include; for the first time, dedicated funds for the hiring of additional school counselors through a grant program.”
  • State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman: “Gov. @dougducey's proposal is a great first step in providing students quality guidance and support as they become leaders in our schools & communities.”
  • Arizona School Counselors Association Vice-Chair Amanda Nolasco: “Thank you @dougducey for opening up #azsca2019. Thank you for your support of #schoolcounselors by including $12 million in your budget to reduce our ratios. It was a pleasure to meet you today.”

Governor Ducey also proclaimed the first week of February 2019 as School Counseling Week in recognition of the vital role school counselors play in helping Arizona students succeed, saying:

“Counselors play an invaluable role in our school. They further the educational, personal and social growth of our students — helping them navigate academic and life experiences. That’s why we are directly investing in them to add more counselors to Arizona schools."

Photo (left to right): Amanda Nolasco, Vice Chair, Arizona School Counselors Association, Governor Ducey and Janine Menard, Chair, Arizona School Counselors Association