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More than 4,000 counseling professionals attended this year's conference, the highest registration experienced over the last 13 years. Check out the conference Photo Gallery, and visit the ACA website for links to the two radio interviews and three TV interviews that occurred during the conference. Watch Counseling Today for coverage and more photos. Thank you to all who contributed to making this an incredibly successful educational and networking event.
Please complete this very brief survey regarding the effects of the economy on you and your clients. ACA wants to know how we can help you during this challenging time and what you are doing to help your clients cope. The survey results will be shared with all members. If you attended the conference in Charlotte and completed the economic survey, we have recorded your responses and so you do not need to fill it out again.
According to a preliminary estimate of birth records, conducted by the National Center of Health Statistics and released on March 18, 2009, more babies were born in America in 2007 than at any other time in history. The year saw 4,317,119 births. Additional statistics that were reported:
This increase in births is being referred to as a "boomlet," with data significantly below the numbers recorded in the 1950s when the American "baby boom" occurred. Demographic experts have conflicting opinions regarding what effect the current recession might have on the next round of statistics.
Nearly five months into the new fiscal year, Congress finally approved on March 10th a massive $410-billion omnibus spending bill (H.R. 1105), which will fund most domestic discretionary government programs through September 30th. The bill was signed into law by President Obama the following day. The omnibus bill includes the nine FY 2009 appropriations bills that Congress failed to pass at the end of 2008, because of a veto threat from then-President Bush. The omnibus spending bill provides $19 billion more than President Bush requested for FY 2009, including a $4.45 billion increase for the U.S. Department of Education.
Although the omnibus bill received quick approval in the House of Representatives on February 25, passing by a vote of 245-178, it faced stiff opposition in the Senate, especially among Republicans and a few Democrats, who objected to the plethora of earmarks in the bill. After nearly two weeks of procedural maneuvering, the Senate finally approved the bill on March 10 after voting 62-35 to cut off debate on any further amendments.
The omnibus bill will provide increases next year for several programs important to school counselors. Most notably, the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program will receive $52 million in 2009-10--a $3.4 million increase over last year, and the highest level yet for the program. Further, the Grants for the Integration of Schools and Mental Health Systems program will receive $5.9 million in 2009-10, which is nearly a $1 million increase over last year.
The spending bill also provides small increases for college preparation programs like GEAR-UP and TRIO. The TRIO program will receive a $19.9 million increase to $848.1, and the GEAR-UP program is slated to receive a $9.8 million increase to $313.2 million for FY 2009.
A comprehensive chart is available at: http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget09/09action.pdf
Don't forget membership dues and ACAF contributions when completing your 2008 tax forms for submission to the Internal Revenue Service by April 15. The American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Counseling Association Foundation (ACAF) are recognized as tax exempt organizations under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, any contribution made between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008 to either of these organizations is tax deductible and can be used as an itemized deduction on Schedule A of your 2008 individual income tax return.
In addition, membership dues paid to ACA last year can be deducted as an itemized deduction (Schedule A) or a business deduction (Schedule C) when filing your annual return. You should consult your tax professional to determine the extent these deductions may help reduce your 2008 tax liability.
According to a March 14 story in the Boston Globe, a winner may be emerging from the ashes of the recession and job losses in the business sector---public service careers. Citing record enrollment applications for the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and Teach for America, college graduates and career changers are turning to helping people as their career alternative. The Globe also points out that graduate schools are also getting record numbers of applications.
A new face can now be found performing a very important role at ACA. Earlier this year, Executive Director Richard Yep announced the appointment of Paul Fornell, MS, NCC, LPCC, as the Director, Ethics and Professional Standards. In this role, Paul will be responsible for answering member's questions about ethical issues and dilemmas, as well as professional standards (i.e. education, licensure). Paul joined the Alexandria, Virginia based staff in January.
Previously, Paul has been a special education teacher, a counselor at secondary and post secondary schools, a college faculty member, and a clinical mental health counselor in private practice. He earned his BS in Education at the University of Illinois, and his MS in Counseling Psychology at George Williams College.
No stranger to state and division leadership roles, Paul has served as President, New Mexico Counseling Association; President, California Counseling Association; President, American College Counseling Association; and, Member of the ACA Governing Council. He can be reached at email@example.com.
On to the Steel City and the Keystone State, March 18-22, 2010! Members wishing to submit proposals for the 2010 Conference Education Sessions and Learning Institutes can begin to do so when the online submission forms for Education Sessions and Learning Institutes become active on March 30. Proposals must be submitted by June 3, 2009.
ACA is actively soliciting proposals for advanced programs that provide in-depth knowledge or skills beyond the introductory or basic level. Specific slots are reserved for advanced level proposals. Questions? Contact Debbie Beales at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call your Representative and urge him/her to show support for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP) by signing onto the Langevin-Ehlers Dear Colleague Letter (see below), which requests the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, to provide $61.5 million for this essential program in fiscal year (FY) 2010 for use in the 2010-2011 school year.
The U.S.Capitol Switchboard can be reached at (202) 225-3121. To find the names of your members of Congress, or to generate an e-mail to your lawmakers on this issue, go to: http://capwiz.com/counseling/home/.
SUGGESTED MESSAGE: "Representatives Jim Langevin and Vern Ehlers are circulating a bipartisan Dear Colleague Letter to Members of Congress asking them to join them in requesting that the House Appropriations Committee provide $61.5 million in funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program in (FY) 2010.
As your constituent, I strongly urge you to sign this letter and support the school counseling program."
The deadline for member to sign on is April 1, 2009.
BACKGROUND: Representatives Jim Langevin (D- RI) and Vern Ehlers (R-MI) have sent a bipartisan "Dear Colleague" letter to the U.S. House of Representatives asking Members of Congress to sign on to a letter to House appropriators asking them to provide $61.5 million in funding for the ESSCP in fiscal year (FY) 2010. This is a $9.5 million increase over the current year funding level of $52 million.
The Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP) is the only federal program that provides school districts with the resources to provide comprehensive counseling services. Adequate access to school counseling services is proven to help improve students' academic achievement and school safety.
Data from the 2007 National Household Education Survey of the U.S. Department of Education show an estimated 1.5 million children were homeschooled in the U.S. in the spring of 2007. This figure represents an increase from the 1.1 million reported in 2003 and raises a critical question---How are the counseling needs of this growing population being served?
Past President Jane Goodman will lead a delegation of professional counselors to China and Tibet May 25--June 6, 2009. The delegation will combine educational activities and meetings centered on counseling in both China and Tibet with cultural activities highlighting the sights and sounds of each country. Delegates will enjoy insider views of the counseling system in China and experience the culture in ways that most travelers never do, from climbing the Great Wall and seeing the amazing temples in Tibet to observing professional counterparts in their element.
Check out the booklet "Public Awareness Ideas and Strategies for Professional Counselors" for ideas on how you can help to promote the counseling profession. One of the ways is to display an ACA Membership Certificate in your office or workplace. To help members celebrate Counseling Awareness Month, ACA is offering the ready-to-frame ACA membership certificate with a gold border for only $8.50 (plus S/H). Regular price is $17. To take advantage of this special offer, please call 800-347-6647 x222 (M-F, 8 am - 7pm). Credit card only. This offer is not available online. To view wood or metal-framed certificate options, log on to the ACA website, click on Counselors, then on Framed Certificate Order Form.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health has new statistics on inhalant use by teenagers during the period 2002-2007. This short report offers data on the types and frequency of adolescent inhalant addictions.
Howard Kirschenbaum, the internationally recognized leading expert on Carl Rogers, will keynote a one-day seminar designed to introduce the life, work, and theoretical legacy of Rogers' work to a new generation of practitioners and educators. Sponsored by the New York Person-Centered Resource Center, "Discovering and Re-Discovering Carl Rogers" will take place on Saturday, April 25 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. in the House of the Redeemer in New York City. Other featured speakers include Arthur Bohart and Sarton Weinraub.
April is Counseling Awareness Month, a month set aside each year to recognize the important role that counseling and counselors play in the lives of people. Join in the celebration of our essential work by using the Celebration Guide ACA has created to assist members in observance planning.
May 1, 2009
May 1, 2009
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