CPSB Superintendent weighs in on BESE Bulletin 741 decision - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

CPSB Superintendent weighs in on BESE Bulletin 741 decision

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

In Baton Rouge, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved changes Tuesday that could impact accreditation, school librarians and school counselors.

The plan would eliminate mandatory requirements for schools to have a certain number of counselors and librarians, if schools outsource those jobs.

The BESE committee decided to retain the requirements for counselors and librarians. The full board will vote on the revised Bulletin 741 at its meeting on Wednesday. 

Calcasieu Parish Superintendent Wayne Savoy said BESE should take more time to think about these changes before cutting back or eliminating specific roles in schools.

Savoy said librarians and school counselors each play vital roles in the success of students in his or her academic and personal life.

BESE's Bulletin 741 contains rules and guidelines for school counselors, librarians and other academic rules.

Within that bulletin, a few things stuck out to Savoy. One being less counselors and librarians, accreditation wouldn't be required, and it's hard to keep attendance of students in the virtual school, he said.

"Sometimes folks have a tendency to take things away or suggest that things be taken away and they don't really understand the importance of what they do as far as the school team goes," Savoy said.

Especially when it comes to certain resources for the students.

Currently, at the high school level, it's required to have one counselor for every 450 students. Each counselor is responsible for helping students schedule courses, prepare for college and offer help with other academic and personal issues.

"Our libraries are learning centers. Our counselors are the go between, between the student and the administration, and teachers refer students to counselors every day," Savoy said.

"And our counselors, the kind of jobs they do is encouragement, they work with students to be sure they are getting the work in on time and they are preventing a lot of discipline problems and heading off a lot of crisis situations in our youth. I think we ought to be adding more counselors instead of taking them away," he added.

Savoy said BESE needs to put more thought into Bulletin 741 before bad decisions are made.

"All I'm asking is just take a good look and understand what's going on in the school systems. Sometimes they don't understand," he said.

Again, it's still one counselor per 450 students, and school districts can get around that ratio if they choose to use other means for counseling services.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved. 

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