Friday, August 03, 2007

Legislative Alert .. Contact Your Representatives Today!

Contact Your Representatives Today!

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) has sent out a Dear Colleague letter to members of Congress asking for original co-sponsors for the Put School Counselors Where They're Needed Act. ASCA has worked closely with her office to help write the legislative language that would increase secondary school counselors in high-need Title I Schools.

Now we need YOUR help. Contact your representatives today and ask them to sign on as original co-sponsors of this important legislation. Co-sponsors are needed TODAY.

Following is the text of the Dear Colleague letter:

Want to Increase High School Graduation Rates In Your District?
Put More School Counselors Where They're Needed!

Dear Colleague,
As we move closer to the reauthorization of the landmark No Child Left Behind law, we must examine and address our national drop-out problem. That's why I invite you to join me as an original co-sponsor of the "Put School Counselors Where They're Needed Act."

Professional secondary school counselors are an integral part of the effort to increase graduation rates. School counselors can identify potential problems early in a student's school career and make sure that they are addressed before students become overwhelmed and drop out.

The average counselor-to-student ratio in America's public schools is one to 479, a ratio that hardly allows for individual attention and intensive support. The American School Counselor Association and the American Counseling Association recommend a ratio of one school counselor to 250 students and a lower ratio for counselors working primarily with students at risk.

If we are serious about leaving no child behind, we must admit that schools are not factories and children are not widgets. We must place more counselors where there are more students at risk.

The Put School Counselors Where They're Needed Act would do just that. This bill would authorize a limited demonstration program, placing additional professional secondary school counselors in schools with drop-out rates of 40% or more. These additional counselors will work intensively with students at risk of dropping out and will collaborate with parents, teachers, and others to create a comprehensive plan to get these students back on the right track. Moreover, similarly situated schools around the nation could benefit from the lessons learned by participating schools. This legislation is supported by the National PTA, the American School Counselor Association and the American Counseling Association.

Please become an original co-sponsor of the Put School Counselors Where They're Needed Act. To learn more about this important legislation, or to become an original co-sponsor, please contact Celeste Drake (x5-6676) in my office today.
Member of Congress

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