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Compare MCPS elementary counselor ratios with other school systems of the same size.

Question#: 38

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE: Chapter 5-53

ANSWER:

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) does not currently have an established counselor-to-student ratio for elementary school. All MCPS elementary schools have a school counselor position allocation. On average, the MCPS elementary school staffing ratio is one counselor for 536 students. Most MCPS elementary schools have a 1.0 Full-time Equivalent (FTE) counselor position. Elementary schools with high enrollment may have more; one elementary school has 2.0 FTE counselor positions and two other elementary schools with high enrollment have 1.5 FTE counselor positions. Elementary schools with low enrollment may have less than a 1.0 FTE counselor positions, e.g., one elementary school has a 0.8 FTE counselor position, and four elementary schools with low enrollment have 0.5 FTE counselor positions.

In FY 2015, an additional 5.5 FTE counselor positions were allocated to 11 Title I schools with enrollments of 500 or more students and the highest percentages of students receiving Free and Reduced-price Meals System services. Each of these Title I schools was given an additional 0.5 FTE counselor position.

In 2013, the Virginia General Assembly approved a staff ratio of one full-time elementary school counselor to 500 students. Fairfax County Public Schools follows the approved elementary counselor student ratio (1:500). Prince George's County Public Schools has a staff ratio of one elementary counselor to 589 students. The Charlotte-Mecklenberg school district, which is approximately the same size as MCPS, has a staff ratio of one counselor to 514 students. The Philadelphia Public Schools allocates a 0.5 FTE counselor position to each elementary school that has 524 or fewer students, and a 1.0 FTE counselor position to elementary schools that have 525 to 949 students.

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