State School Counseling Mandates and Legislation

Alabama
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: 1:500-749 (see other)
Source of mandate: Legislative, state foundation program
Who funds mandate? State
Other: For elementary and secondary schools with fewer than 500 students, there may only be one half-time school counselor employed. For elementary and secondary schools with 500-749 students, there must be at least one school counselor employed. For elementary schools with 750-999 students, there must be at least 1.5 school counselors employed. For secondary schools with 750-999 students, there must be at least two school counselors employed. For elementary schools with 1,000-1,249 students, there must be at least two school counselors employed. For secondary schools with 1,000-1,249 students, there must be at least 2.5 school counselors employed. For elementary schools with 1,250-1,499 students, there must be at least 2.5 school counselors employed. For secondary schools with more than 1,250 students, there must be at least three school counselors employed. For elementary schools with more than 1,500 students, there must be least three school counselors employed.
Legislation

Alaska
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Repealed rule
Vocational guidance and placement rule
Certification rule
Advanced certification rule
Emergency certification rule

Arizona
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Note: Although there is no law mandating school counselors or fixing the ratio of students to school counselors, the positions are funded out of the school district's budget, and the district governing board makes the decision about how many counselors to hire.
Certification rule (see p. 53)

Arkansas
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated School Counselor-to-student ratio: 1:450
Source of mandate: Arkansas State Standard - Annotated Code of Public School Student Services Act of 1991
Who funds mandate? State
Mandate (see p. 14)

California
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Mandated cchool counselor-to-student ratio: None
Source of mandate: Education Code
Who funds mandate? State Budget Act
Other: The California State Budget Act of 2006 (AB 1802, Chapter 79) amended the California Education Code to ensure that students in grades 7-12 receive counseling services
Certification rule
Comprehensive school counseling Rule
Funding rule
School counseilng certification (see section 6)

Colorado
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Other: Colorado is a local control state, which means many pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education decisions (issues of curriculum, personnel, school calendars, graduation requirements, classroom policy, etc.) are made by the 176 school district administrations and their school boards.
Certification rule (see p. 165)

Connecticut
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Certification rule (see p. 111)

Delaware
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Other: Under state board of education regulations (not state law), school districts must have a district plan for counseling based on the ASCA National Standards for Student Competencies. This plan has to be implemented by a state-certified school counselor. No money is attached.
Certification rule (elementary)
Certification rule (secondary)
Comprehensive school counseling programs rule

District of Columbia
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated School Counselor-to-student ratio: Every school must have at least one school counselor on staff; each middle and secondary school must also have a career counselor on staff as well.
Source of mandate: Board of Education
Who funds mandate? District
Certification rule

Florida
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Other: Legislation requires all districts to have a written guidance plan. Districts are also required to complete an online guidance report, which includes information about the implementation of their guidance programs. There is a guidance plan mandate but no mandate for school counselors. Many elementary schools do not have full-time school counselors but part-time school counselors instead. One large high school this year moved counseling responsibilities from the school counselor to the dean of students. Many districts have decreased the number of school counselors recently as well.
Certification rule

Georgia
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: 1:450
Source of mandate: State law
Who funds mandate? State, with supplemental funding from local districts. The state funds are allocated per full-time employee, but education funding law allows local systems to move funds and school counselor numbers around as needed.
Certification rule
Nonrenewable certificate rule
Renewable certificate rule

Hawaii
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No*
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: N/A
Source of mandate Hawaii BOE Policy 2130
Who funds mandate? School counseling is funded by individual schools through the state's Weighted Student Formula. The Weighted Student Formula distributes funds to schools based on individual needs and additional money is given to educate students with identified characteristics that impact their learning.
*Other: There is no state statute that mandates school counseling; however, Hawaii has a Board of Education policy that states "schools shall provide a program of guidance, counseling, and related services as necessary for the academic, personal, social and career development of each student."
Comprehensive program rule

Idaho
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated School Counselor-to-student ratio: None
Source of mandate Administrative rule
Who funds mandate? State
Other: Statute reads, “In each Idaho school, a comprehensive guidance program will be provided as an integral part of the educational program.” It also states, “No later than grade eight (8) all students will develop parent-approved student learning plans for their high school and post-high school options”
Read the mandate and more information
Certification rule
Comprehensive school counseling program rule
Elementary guidance rule (section 7)
Career guidance rule

Illinois
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Other: School counseling programs and low school counselor-to-student ratio are recommended by the state board of education; however the local school districts have the authority to determine their needs related to school counseling services. Illinois does mandate that students have access to student services when needed (school nurses, school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, etc.)
Certification rule

Indiana
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8: No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12: Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: Grades 1-6, 1:600; Grades 7-12, 1:300 (recommended, not mandated)
Source of mandate: State board of education
Who funds mandate? Unfunded
Read the state board rule and more information
Certification rule (see p. 20)
Student-to-school-counselor ratio rule
Required standards for school counselors

Iowa
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated School Counselor-to-student ratio: School districts must be working toward a 1:350 ratio for all levels
Source of mandate: Legislated
Who funds mandate? Local school district
Certfication rule
School-to-career rule

Kansas
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Certification rule

Kentucky
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No*
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No*
Mandated School Counselor-to-student ratio: Local decision
Is mandate being considered?: No
*There is no mandate; however, Kentucky schools are governed by local School-Based Decision Making Councils (SBDM) composed of parents, school staff and administration. Per 702 KAR 3:246, the SBDM makes the decision regarding hiring of counselors.
Certification rule
School-to-careers funding rule

Louisiana
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: 9-12, 1:450
Source of mandate: Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Who funds mandate? State
Read the mandate
School-counselor-to-student ratio and comprehensive school counseling program rule

Maine
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: K-8, 1:350; 9-12, 1:250
Source of mandate State board of Education
Who funds mandate? Included in proportion of state funding to local districts
Certification rule (see p. 23)
General certification rules
Comprehensive guidance plan rule (see p. 16)

Maryland
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: Ratio is not mandated
Source of mandate: Maryland Board of Education’s State Code of Regulations
Who funds mandate? State
Other: COMAR 13.A.05.05.02 requires that the school counseling and guidance program be a planned, systematic program of counseling, consulting, appraisal, information and placement services for all students, grades K-12.
Read the mandate
Certification rule
Certification of director of guidance rule
Student services rule
Comprehensive school counseling program rule

Massachusetts
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Certification rule

Michigan
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Certification rule

Minnesota
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
School counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? Yes, in February 2007 a bill was proposed to give funding to all districts in need for student services (including school counseling) for their K-12 schools. This bill has been tabled and has not passed into law.
Certification rule
Student-to-school counselor ratio rule
Comprehensive school counseling program rule

Mississippi
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No*
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: One half-time school counselor position is required at each secondary school.
Source of mandate: Legislative action
Who funds mandate? State
Other: *Students in elementary schools must have access to student support services provided by a school counselor, school social worker, school nurse or other student support personnel.
Read the mandate
Certification rule (see p. 40)
Comprehensive services rule
Student-to-school-counselor ratio rule (see p. 16)

Missouri
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: 1:500 (required); 1:301-375 (recommended)
Source of mandate: Accreditation process (not legislated)
Who funds mandate? State funds/general revenue, but there are no specific funds set aside.
Certification rule (K-8)
Certification rule (7-12)

Montana
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: 1:400
Source of mandate Administrative code
Who funds mandate? State and local
Read the mandate
Certification rule (see p. 42)
Student-to-school-counselor ratio rule (see p. 30)

Nebraska
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: K-5, none*; 6-12, - When enrolment in a school hits 450, one school counselor must be assigned. Thereafter, an additional one-half time appropriately endorsed person is assigned for each 225 students.
Source of mandate: State Board of Education (Rule 10)
Who funds mandate? Local districts
Other: * School districts having 300 or more students in the elementary grades have guidance programs or services available for the elementary students. The procedures and ratios are determined by the local school district.
Read the mandate
Certification rule
Student-to-school-counselor ratio rule

Nevada
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes, NRS 389.180 requires each school district to offer occupational guidance and counseling.
Is a mandate being considered? Due to severe financial conditions in the state, mandated K-6 counseling services are not being considered at this time.
Mandated school counselor-to-Sstudent ratio? There is no state mandated ratio although the state does review the information at the state level. The required counseling services under NRS 389.180 are tempered with the wording in Section 4 that states "within the limits of money made available to the district by the legislature for that purpose."
Source of mandate: NRS 389.180
Funding for mandate: The state legislature includes funding within the distributive school account to school districts to support the counseling services at the 7-12 grade levels.
Read the mandate
Certification rule

New Hampshire
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated School Counselor-to-student ratio: K-5, 1:500; 6-12, 1:300
Source of mandate: State Eeducation administrative code
Who funds mandate? Local school board
Other: For secondary schools with more than four school counselors, a director of school counseling must be hired to oversee the program.
Read the mandate
Certification rule (section 507.7)
Comprehensive school counseling program rule
Student-to-school-counselor ratio rule

New Jersey
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes*
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes*
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: None
Source of mandate: State administrative code
Who funds mandate? Local school board
Other: *Although school counseling programs are mandated in New Jersey, there is no rule mandating that school counselors themselves be employed in schools.
Read the mandate (N.J.A.C.6A:8-3.2)
Certification rule (see p. 232)
Career counseling and education rule (p. 16)

New Mexico
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: None
Source of mandate: Administrative code
Who funds mandate? Non-funded
Other: The state of New Mexico does not have counseling language in statute. However, the administrative code states: “Districts are required to provide the following programs: health education, physical education, health services and school counseling.” The administrative code also states: “Districts must provide or make provisions for support service programs that strengthen the instructional program. Required support programs are library/media, school counseling, health services, and athletic and activity programs.”
Certification rule
Student services rule
Certification, testing requirement

New York
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Other: The Board of Education law says that each school district or board of cooperative educational services may employ qualified persons for the purpose of providing vocational and educational guidance for minors.
Read the law (click EDN, Article 93 and then law 4605)
Educational and vocational guidance rule
Career education rule

North Carolina
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No*
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No*
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: 1:400 (recommended, not mandated)
Source of mandate: State Board of Education Policy and related legislation
Who funds mandate? Primarily state funds, but also federal and local budgets
*Standards for guidance are approved but not mandated.
Required support program rule
Certification rule

North Dakota
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: No ratio required, but credentialed school counselors must be in school districts that have 250 or more students.
Source of mandate: North Dakota Administrative Code 67-19-01,
Who funds mandate? Each public school district receives state per student money if accredited.
Read the mandate
Certification rule
Student services rule (see p. 24)

Ohio
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Certification rule
Career education rule

Oklahoma
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: K-5, None; 6-12, 1:450
Source of mandate Legislative
Who funds mandate? State
Student-to-school-counselor ratio rule
Comprehensive school counseling program rule

Oregon
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes*
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes*
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: None*
Source of mandate: State administrative rule
Who funds mandate? Non-funded
*Other: Each school district in Oregon is mandated to maintain a comprehensive guidance and counseling plan that serves students K-12. In addition, each school district is mandated to maintain a licensed staff. The number of staff is not mandated but there is a recommendation to follow ASCA's recommended ratio of 1:250 or better. The mandate can be found in Oregon's administrative rules.
Comprehensive school counseling program rule

Pennsylvania
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered: No
Certification rule
Student services rule
Confidentiality rule

Rhode Island
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes*
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes*
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: None
Source of mandate: State board of education rule
Who funds mandate? State and local
Other: *School counseling programs are mandated in K-12, but school counselors themselves are not mandated in every school.
Certification rule

South Carolina
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: K-5, 1:800; 6-12, 1:300 (Ratio includes certified school counselors and career specialists with CDF certification)
Source of mandate: State board regulation; EEDA legislation
Who funds mandate? State
Other: EEDA legislation to be fully implemented by 2011: School counselors shall limit their activities to guidance and counseling and may not perform administrative tasks.
Certification rule
Student-to-school-counselor ratio rule (middle and high, see section 59-59-100)
Comprehensive career guidance plan rule (see section 59-59-40)

South Dakota
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Certification rule

Tennessee
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: K-6, 1:500 (recommended for state funding); 7-12, 1:350 (recommended for state funding)
Source of mandate: Tennessee Better Education Program via Board of Education
Who funds mandate? State (70 percent) and local (30 percent)
Read the mandate
Certification rule (see p. 264-268)
Student-to-school-counselor ratio rule (see p. 4)

Texas
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No mandate to hire a school counselor in Texas; however, if school counselors are hired they must meet state standards.
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No mandate to hire a school counselor in Texas; however, if school counselor are hired they must meet state standards.
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: None
Is mandate being considered?: No
Other: State law requires school counselors to take on certain roles and responsibilities, but it does not require a school counselor in every school or any specific ratio.
Certification rule

Utah
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio None
Source of mandate: State legislature
Who funds mandate? State
Other: School counseling programs are defined and mandated for all students in grades 9-12; however there is no mandated ratios. If school districts do not show evidence of comprehensive school counseling program via rigorous evaluations (at least every three years), then they will not receive state guidance funds. If there are leftover state guidance funds, these funds will go toward comprehensive guidance programs for grades 7-8.
Read the mandate
Certification rule
Comprehensive school counseling program rule

Vermont
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: Elementary, 1:400; secondary, 1:300
Source of mandate: State Board of Education
Who funds mandate? Local
Read the mandate
Certification rule
Student-to-school-counselor rule (see p. 24)

Virginia
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: Guidance counselors in elementary schools, one hour per day per 100 students, one full-time at 500 students, one hour per day additional time per 100 students or major fraction thereof; guidance counselors in middle schools, one period per 80 students, one full-time at 400 students, one additional period per 80 students or major fraction thereof; guidance counselors in high schools, one period per 70 students, one full-time at 350 students, one additional period per 70 students or major fraction thereof.
Source of mandate: Legislative action
Who funds mandate? State
Read the mandate
Certification rule (see p. 94)
Comprehensive school counseling program rule

Washington
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
School counselor-to-student ratio: At least one school counseor in each secondary school is required.
Source of mandate: Administrative Code
Who funds mandate? State
Other: School counselors themselves are not mandated in grades 9-12; however, "a minimum of one full-time person, or equivalent, shall be provided for counseling and guidance services in each secondary school."
Read the mandate
Certification rule
School counselor role in public schools rule
Specialized services rule

West Virginia
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated School Counselor-to-student ratio: None
Source of mandate Administrative Code
Who funds mandate? State and District
Other: Must spend 75 percent of day in a direct counseling relationship with students and no more than 25 percent doing administrative duties.
Read the mandate
Certification rule (see p. 29, 120)
Comprehensive school counseling program rule

Wisconsin
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: None
Source of mandate: Legislative action
Who funds mandate? Local
Certification rule (see p. 16)

Wyoming
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? Yes (students must have access)*
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? Yes (students must have access)*
Mandated school counselor-to-student ratio: None
Source of mandate: Legislative action
Who funds mandate? Non-funded
Other: The district shall ensure students have access to guidance services providing all students with assistance in developing and monitoring their educational and career plans through a structured, systematic individual planning system. Therefore, although access to guidance services are mandated, school counselors themselves are not.
Read the mandate
Comprehensive school counseling program rule (see p. 2)
School counseling services rule (subsection 1)