There’s a shortage of guidance counselors. What can be done to solve it?

Classroom Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Counselors are key to helping students navigate school, apply to college and plan for a career, but there’s a shortage of them in our nation’s schools.

And the lack of guidance counselors is often most acute at schools that serve low income students — the children who need the most help.

Liz Willen, editor in chief of The Hechinger Report, will be at SXSW EDU to share information about Hechinger’s newest reporting project, The Guidance Gap, which will explore this issue. Join her March 5 at 7 p.m. at the screening of Personal Statement, a stunning new documentary by Juliane Dressner and Eddie Martinez. The film is also being shown at various times on PBS stations and film festivals throughout the country.

Only three states — Wyoming, Vermont and New Hampshire — meet the recommended ratio of one counselor to every 250 students. In Colorado, the state has spent more than $60 million since 2008 to hire more than 270 counselors and train them to work in low-income schools. Meanwhile, in California, there is one counselor for every 682 students.

The Hechinger Report has assembled a special archive of all of its work so far on guidance counselors. It is available, free of charge, to help inform and inspire meaningful conversations among participants at SXSW EDU. That archive will be updated as Hechinger continues to publish new stories.

What creative solutions can schools use to fill these gaps? Talk about it on Twitter at #GuidanceGap during SXSW EDU. And come to the Hechinger happy hour on March 6.

And keep the conversation going even after SXSW EDU ends. Sign up for The Hechinger Report’s free weekly newsletter to get updates on all the most important education news. Hechinger is a nonprofit newsroom covering innovation and inequality in education. It’s the Sunday magazine of education journalism.

Sponsored content provided by The Hechinger Report. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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