WEST virginia legislature
2019 regular session
House Bill 2758
By Delegate Estep-Burton, Walker, Angelucci, Doyle, Lavender-Bowe, Zukoff and Pyles
[Introduced January 30, 2019; Referred
to the Committee on Education then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-5-18b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to establishing minimum numbers of school counselors that shall be employed by the county board and assigned to each high, middle, and elementary school in the state.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 5. COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-5-18b. School counselors in public schools.
(a) A school counselor means a professional educator who holds a valid school counselor's certificate in accordance with article three of this chapter.
(b) Each county board shall provide counseling services for each pupil enrolled in the public schools of the county.
(c) The school counselor shall work with individual pupils and groups of pupils in providing developmental, preventive and remedial guidance and counseling programs to meet academic, social, emotional and physical needs; including programs to identify and address the problem of potential school dropouts. The school counselor also may provide consultant services for parents, teachers and administrators and may use outside referral services, when appropriate, if no additional cost is incurred by the county board.
(d) Each county board shall employ a minimum of two school counselors at each high school, of which one shall be male and one shall be female. Each elementary school and middle school shall employ a minimum of one school counselor.
(d) (e) The state board may adopt rules
consistent with the provisions of this section that define the role of a school
counselor based on the "National Standards for School Counseling Programs"
of the American school counselor association. A school counselor is authorized
to perform such services as are not inconsistent with the provisions of the
rule as adopted by the state board. To the extent that any funds are made
available for this purpose, county boards shall provide training for counselors
and administrators to implement the rule as adopted by the state board. (e) (f) Each county board shall develop a
comprehensive drop-out prevention program utilizing the expertise of school
counselors and any other appropriate resources available. (f) (g) School
counselors shall be full-time professional personnel, shall spend at least 75
percent of work time in a direct counseling relationship with pupils, and shall
devote no more than one fourth of the work day to administrative activities: Provided,
That such activities are counselor related. (g) (h) Nothing in this section prohibits a
county board from exceeding the provisions of this section, or requires any
specific level of funding by the Legislature.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a minimum number of school counselors that shall be employed by the county board and assigned to each high, middle, and elementary school in the state.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.