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What is the cost to change the counseling ratio to 1 to 250 in elementary schools?

Question#: 17

ANSWER:

The FY 2019 Superintendent’s Recommended Operating Budget Appendix C, K-12 Budget Staffing Guidelines, includes staffing for elementary schools counselors at 1.0 FTE per elementary school.  An additional 0.5 counselor position is allocated to non-focus schools with projected Grades K-5 enrollment greater than 750, to focus schools with projected Grades K-5 enrollment greater than 650, and to Title I schools with projected Grades K-5 enrollment greater than 550.

In order to change the counseling ratio in elementary schools to 1 counselor to 250 students, an additional 128.0 Full-time Equivalent (FTE) counselor positions would need to be added to the FY 2019 Operating Budget at a cost of $12,620,474 (including employee benefits).

Allocating counselors in elementary schools using a ratio of 250:1 requires an extraordinary amount of staffing because of the size of elementary schools and because counselors are allocated in 0.5 FTE and 1.0 FTE allocations only.  For example, we have many elementary schools with enrollment between 350 and 450 students.  For each of these schools, we would need to allocate 1.5 or 2.0 FTE counselors bringing the ratio to close to 200:1 because not allocating at that amount would mean the ratio would be well above 250:1.  By adding 128 FTE, the total ratio will be 257.3:1.

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