The American Press on schools needing their librarians and counselors
The American Press on schools needing their librarians and counselors:
It is hard to imagine that the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education were planning to implement a new law to allow schools to find alternatives to having professional librarians and counselors, but they were.
Fortunately there was such an uproar from both groups that BESE has now reversed that decision and professional school librarians and counselors will continue to be available to students.
Both state Superintendent of Education John White, who initially pushed the changes, and Chas Roemer, president of BESE, and a key backer of the overhaul, later endorsed the reversal at a recent meeting. ...
Under the planned guidelines, which BESE approved earlier this year, public schools could get around staffing requirements for counselors and librarians if they found other approved ways to do so.
But the change sparked outrage among both groups.
Hundreds of critics filed written comments on the plans, which forced BESE to take another look at the policy.
White, Roemer and others had hoped that tweaks to the planned changes would pave the way for final approval.
But instead, counselors and librarians took turns criticizing the new rules, usually to rousing cheers from colleagues in a state auditorium. ...
Counselors are supposed to assist students on course selections, graduation requirements, career and college options, test interpretations and personal problems.
Jennifer Curry, president-elect of the Louisiana School Counselors Association, said just a single area where counselors are responsible includes parental workshops, curriculum, graduation plans and homework skills, among other duties.
Curry said schools cannot simply employ “alternative people” to do the work.
Walter Lee, a BESE member who lives in Mansfield, sparked the push to leave rules governing counselors and librarians the way they were before BESE approved the changes earlier this year. ...