Research / Education


Policy Analysis | April 2019

School Counselor Legislation in the South

Cody Allen, Policy Analyst

Along with the more routine duties of academic and career development, school counselors also have a responsibility to assist students with personal and social development. The student-to-school counselor ratio across the South and the time allotment school counselors must spend providing direct services to students recently has drawn greater attention, as well as the need to clarify these direct services.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) narrows in on two best practices for states to implement regarding their school counselor programs. The first is a recommended student-to-school counselor ratio of 250-to-1. While the second is a recommendation that school counselors allocate 80 percent of their work-time to providing direct services to students and only 20 percent to non-related or administrative tasks.1

Student-to-School Counselor Ratios

In 2013 and 2017, respectively, North Carolina and Tennessee were the first states to require an 80-20 allotment for their school counselors, although neither state has yet to achieve the recommended 250‑to-1 ratio recommended by the ASCA.2

According to the ASCA and the U.S. Department of Education, based on the most recent available data, the average student-to-school counselor ratio among SLC states for the 2015-2016 school year was 411‑to-1 (slightly better than the national average of 464-to-1), with no SLC states meeting the recommended ratio. As the table illustrates, Tennessee came closest to meeting the recommended ASCA ratio.

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Other | January 2019

Issues to Watch - 2019

Anne Roberts Brody, Cody Allen and Roger Moore

As the 2019 legislative cycle begins, legislators across the South are preparing and pre-filing legislation to address emerging and relevant policy issues in their states. With its regional focus, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is uniquely positioned to research and identify current and emerging policy issues and trends. This report was prepared by SLC policy analysts Anne Roberts Brody, Cody Allen and Roger Moore as a snapshot of issues and trends that are anticipated to emerge during the 2019 legislative term.

This report previews current and emerging trends that have been identified under the purview of the SLC’s six standing committees, which are relevant to poli­cymakers across the South. The Agriculture and Rural Development preview discusses industrial hemp cultivation and the struggles of rural hospitals, while the Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs preview considers occupational licensing regulations and the funding of transportation and state infrastructure. In Education policy, teacher pay legislation and school counseling are trends to watch for the 2019 legislative term, while the management of coal combustion residuals — commonly referred to as coal ash — is an important emerging issue in the Energy and Environment arena. The Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations preview compares online sales tax legislation in the wake of the South Dakota v. Wayfair decision, and the Human Services and Public Safety preview examines balance billing policy at both the state and federal level.


Policy Analysis | August 2018

Apprenticeships in the South

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Due to a lack of training and education among prospective employees, many businesses often have difficulty finding enough skilled workers to remain competitive in the global economy. This is particularly the case for positions that require moderate to high levels of technical knowledge, which are critical for sustained success in today’s job market.

Successful apprenticeship programs, which have proven valuable for both businesses and students, can help state and local leaders address the skills gap that exists in many industries. For businesses, apprenticeships can nurture student interest in careers related to their industry, potentially increasing the number of applicants in the future and improving employee retention and productivity. They also facilitate robust partnerships with schools, thereby ensuring that education standards include the skills and training necessary to succeed in growing industries. For students, apprenticeships offer the opportunity to apply content learned in the classroom to the workplace, allowing them to explore career options by gaining critical work experience. Apprentices also can interact with mentors who can assist them later when they are seeking career opportunities.

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2018-2019 Chair

Senator
Joyce Elliott

Arkansas

Representative Kathryn Swan
2018-2019 Vice Chair

Representative
Kathryn Swan

Missouri

Immediate Past Chair

Senator
Dolores Gresham

Tennessee

Cody Allen
Committee Liaison

Cody Allen
Policy Analyst


In most states, education is the single largest expenditure and often the top priority for lawmakers and their constituents. The SLC Education Committee focuses on educational systems at all levels and investigates ways Southern states are ensuring their students are properly prepared for college entry and ready to compete in the increasingly global economy. Equally, the committee examines the importance of developing greater technical skills in state workforces, preparation and retainment of effective teachers, the incorporation of new technologies and methodologies in the educational field, and the impact of federal initiatives on state and local educational systems.

More SLC Research into Education


Comparative Data Report | July 2018

Education

Comparative Data Report | July 2017

Education

SLC Regional Resource | June 2017

STEM Teacher Preparation and Retention in the South

Policy Analysis | April 2017

Fixed-Rate Tuition Pricing

Comparative Data Report | June 2016

Education

Policy Analysis | October 2015

2015 Update on Common Core in SLC Member States

Comparative Data Report | August 2015

Education

SLC Regional Resource | February 2015

Common Core in the South: Where the States Stand Now

Comparative Data Report | July 2014

Education

Comparative Data Report | July 2013

Education

Policy Analysis | May 2013

The Higher Education Disconnect

Policy Analysis | November 2012

Higher Education Finance Reform

Webinar | October 2012

Higher Education Finance Reform

Policy Analysis | June 2012

The Stafford Loan Crisis in Perspective

Policy Analysis | April 2012

Tuition Deregulation in Higher Education

Policy Analysis | February 2012

NCLB Waivers, Part Three

Policy Analysis | October 2011

NCLB Waivers, Part Two

Policy Analysis | September 2011

Higher Education Performance and Accountability

Policy Analysis | August 2011

Summer Heat and Fall Sports

Comparative Data Report | July 2011

Education

Policy Analysis | June 2011

Race to the Top Round 3

SLC Issue Alert | June 2011

NCLB Update: The Waiver Option

Policy Analysis | May 2011

Post-secondary Access and Affordability

Policy Analysis | May 2011

Schools and Natural Disasters

Policy Analysis | April 2011

Changes in Teaching as a Profession

Policy Analysis | April 2011

School Choice and Charter Schools

Policy Analysis | March 2011

School Budgets Feeling the Pinch

Policy Analysis | March 2011

Changes to HOPE Scholarships

SLC Regional Resource | March 2011

State Section 529 Plans

Comparative Data Report | July 2010

Education

SLC Regional Resource | January 2010

Autism and Schools

Comparative Data Report | November 2009

Education

SLC Issue Alert | December 2008

Mid-Year Education Budget Reductions

Comparative Data Report | November 2008

Education

SLC Regional Resource | January 2008

Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act

Comparative Data Report | November 2007

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2006

Education

SLC Regional Resource | April 2006

Farm to School

Comparative Data Report | November 2005

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2004

Education

SLC Special Series Report | October 2004

Doing the Math: Southern State School Finance Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 2003

Education

SLC Special Series Report | April 2003

Filling In the Gaps: Solving Teacher Shortages

Comparative Data Report | November 2002

Education

SLC Regional Resource | June 2002

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Comparative Data Report | November 2001

Education

SLC Special Series Report | January 1999

Language Diversity in Southern Schools: The Growing Challenge