May 20, 2014

 

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce released a study today on the current state of school counselors and their ability to meet the needs of Indiana’s students.

 

ISTA appreciates the Chamber looking into the subject of our state’s school counselors. Although only mentioned briefly in the report, we feel that the majority of the issues they found are directly linked to the lack of resources and funding for Indiana’s schools.

 

More resources and funding allow school counselors to do the job they were trained to do, rather than spending their time on unrelated tasks assigned to them due to staffing shortages.

 

Since the beginning of the education “reform” movement in 2008, coupled with property tax caps and school funding cuts initiated under Governor Daniels, Indiana’s public schools have been forced to work with fewer resources each year.

 

The Chamber’s report itself declares that “just since 2010 the amount of time counselors are asked to devote to these non-counseling duties has more than doubled.”

 

While appreciated, we and our members did not need to commission a study to tell Hoosiers that public school educators, counselors and support staff have been working under tougher conditions, including increased caseloads and workloads due to diminishing resources. Our members experience it in school buildings every day.

 

We ask that the State Chamber join with ISTA in urging the General Assembly and Governor to give Indiana’s public schools the resources they need so that trained counselors, educators and support staff are given a fair chance to adequately serve our state’s children.