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 email@example.com
1st Vice Chair Sen. John Stevens: (615) 741-4576 firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd Vice Chair Sen. Joey Hensley: (615) 741-3100 email@example.com
Sen. Todd Gardenhire: (615) 741-6682 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Brenda Gilmore: (615) 741-2453 sen.Brenda.Gilmore@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Ferrell Haile: (615) 741-1999 email@example.com
Sen. Jack Johnson: (615) 741-2495 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Jon Lundberg: (615) 741-5761 email@example.com
Sen. Dawn White: (615) 741-6853 sen.Dawn.White@capitol.tn.gov Sen. Ken Yager: (615) 741-1449 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Jeff Yarbro: (615) 741-3291 email@example.com
House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee
Chair Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (615)741-2746 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Chair Rep. Charlie Baum (615)741-6849 email@example.com
Rep. Scotty Campbell (615) 741-2050 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Karen D Camper (615) 741-1898 email@example.com
Rep. John Crawford (615) 741-7623 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Jeremy Faison (615) 741-6871 email@example.com
Rep. Bob Freeman (615) 741-0709 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Ron M Gant (615) 741-6890 email@example.com
Rep. Johnny Garrett (615) 741-3893 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. John Gillespie (615) 741-8201 email@example.com
Rep. David B Hawk (615) 741-7482 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Gary Hicks (615) 741-7480 email@example.com
Rep. London Lamar (615) 741-3830 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. William Lamberth (615) 741-1980 email@example.com
Rep. Susan Lynn (615) 741-7462 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Larry J Miller (615) 741-4453 email@example.com
Rep. Brandon Ogles (615) 741-6808 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Jerry Sexton (615) 741-2534 email@example.com
Rep. Johnny Shaw (615) 741-4538 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Mike Sparks (615) 741-6829 email@example.com
Rep. Chris Todd (615) 741-7475 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Sam Whitson (615) 741-1864 email@example.com
Rep. Ryan Williams (615) 741-1875 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. John Mark Windle (615) 741-1260 email@example.com
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?
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.