Capping a multi-year effort by the American Counseling Association to preserve and enhance one of its keystone programs that supports the important work of professional school counselors, President Obama has signed into law, S.1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This is a comprehensive bill that will provide states with decision making authority as to how best they can serve disadvantaged students.
“Our goal was to make sure that key components that provide funding for the services of professional school counselors at the K-12 levels would continue to be part of the federal government’s commitment to the nation’s disadvantaged students,” said Guila Todd, ACA Legislative Representative.
“The American Counseling Association applauds the passage of the “Every Student Succeeds Act”. We believe the final bill makes important strides to support all students in having the opportunity to receive a quality education,” said Thelma Duffey, ACA President.
Under provisions of the new law, the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP), a program conceived by ACA more than thirty years ago and funded by Congress for $49 million last year will now be part of a block grant provided to the states.
“Given that the states must allocate at least twenty percent of their block grant to programs that include the ESSCP, our hope is that school districts may actually be allocated with even more funds than in previous years,” said Todd.
“The American Counseling Association owes Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) a big thank you for her unwavering commitment and significant efforts to assure that school based mental health and career counseling services for all students were fully included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA),” said Duffey.
As the new law is implemented across the country, ACA stands ready to work with our members, along with State Education Agencies (SEAs) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) across the nation to ensure they are implementing measures that will help provide school based mental health counseling and career counseling to students who are most in need.
For more information on the Every Student Succeeds Act, please click here.