As one of its core missions, TSCA provides Legislative advocacy for Tennessee School Counselors.
SB371/HB1001 is Gaining Traction!
Sen. Campbell (Nashville) and Rep. Love (Nashville) are working to lower the ratio for school counselors in all grades to 1:350. While TSCA's ultimate goal is to have ratios of 1:250 guaranteed in the state's BEP, this legislation is an important start to providing our students with needed access to academic, career, and mental health support. We urge you to reach out to your local legislators and tell them your personal experiences with overwhelming ratios in your school, especially our K-6 school counselors.
SB371/HB1001 has passed the requisite education committees and will now be discussed by the Ways and Means committees in both the House and Senate. See below for tips on advocating and a list of legislators who need to be contacted.
Tips for Advocating with Legislators
Talking Points for SB371/HB1001
Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee
Chair Sen. Bo Watson: (615) 741-3227 firstname.lastname@example.org
1st Vice Chair Sen. John Stevens: (615) 741-4576 email@example.com
2nd Vice Chair Sen. Joey Hensley: (615) 741-3100 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Todd Gardenhire: (615) 741-6682 email@example.com
Sen. Brenda Gilmore: (615) 741-2453 sen.Brenda.Gilmore@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Ferrell Haile: (615) 741-1999 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Jack Johnson: (615) 741-2495 email@example.com
Sen. Jon Lundberg: (615) 741-5761 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Dawn White: (615) 741-6853 sen.Dawn.White@capitol.tn.gov Sen. Ken Yager: (615) 741-1449 email@example.com
Sen. Jeff Yarbro: (615) 741-3291 firstname.lastname@example.org
House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee
Chair Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (615)741-2746 email@example.com
Vice Chair Rep. Charlie Baum (615)741-6849 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Scotty Campbell (615) 741-2050 email@example.com
Rep. Karen D Camper (615) 741-1898 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. John Crawford (615) 741-7623 email@example.com
Rep. Jeremy Faison (615) 741-6871 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Bob Freeman (615) 741-0709 email@example.com
Rep. Ron M Gant (615) 741-6890 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Johnny Garrett (615) 741-3893 email@example.com
Rep. John Gillespie (615) 741-8201 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. David B Hawk (615) 741-7482 email@example.com
Rep. Gary Hicks (615) 741-7480 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. London Lamar (615) 741-3830 email@example.com
Rep. William Lamberth (615) 741-1980 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Susan Lynn (615) 741-7462 email@example.com
Rep. Larry J Miller (615) 741-4453 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Brandon Ogles (615) 741-6808 email@example.com
Rep. Jerry Sexton (615) 741-2534 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Johnny Shaw (615) 741-4538 email@example.com
Rep. Mike Sparks (615) 741-6829 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Chris Todd (615) 741-7475 email@example.com
Rep. Sam Whitson (615) 741-1864 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Ryan Williams (615) 741-1875 email@example.com
Rep. John Mark Windle (615) 741-1260 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Jason Zachary (615) 741-2264 Rep.Jason.Zachary@capitol.tn.gov
Race and Equity Resources
Frequently Asked Questions and Resources
Q: Can we refer to outside agencies?
A: Yes. Teachers, Principals and School Personnel – As enacted, authorizes a school counselor to refer or help facilitate a referral of a parent or legal guardian’s student to a counselor or therapist for mental health assessments or services. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 49 and Title 63. Read more about SB 0341 here.
Q: What are the guidelines regarding restraint of students?
A: You can read more restraint and isolation here.
Q: Do school counselors have privileged communication with students?
A: Currently in the state of Tennessee, privileged communication is provided between client and social worker, licensed professional counselor, psychologist, clergy, marriage and family therapist, and psychiatrist. There is no mention specifically of school counselors in the law. Very few states honor privileged communication between student and school counselor. Learn more here: http://alaskaschoolcounselor.groupsite.com/file_cabinet/download/0x00007a4dd
Q: How long can school counselors work with students?
A: The American School Counselor Association's Ethical Standards (click here) state in Section A.1.b. and Section A.7.a. that school counselors provide services in a brief context. We do not provide therapy so short term, solution-focused counseling is best practice. Some counselors may have particular cases/situations where they see a student for longer periods of time as we may be the only support they are receiving. It is important that we help these families connect with other organizations and counseling resources for long term care.