New Advocacy Post Tuesday February 1st, 2022

Good Evening KSCA Members,

We hope that you are all off to a great second semester in your schools. As some of you might know, last week we held Mental Health In Schools Advocacy Day at the Capitol. During this day of advocating for the imperative work of school counselors, several important topics were brought to the forefront that are impactful to the work we do.

  1. Defining SEL (Social Emotional Learning): It was made clear that many of our legislators do not understand what “SEL” means or looks like in schools. Social Emotional Learning is helping students to acquire the skills and attitudes necessary to regulate emotions, make goals, learn healthy relationship skills, identify and develop healthy emotions, and the ability to make responsible decisions. It is important that they also understand that all academic learning cannot take place without the students having a foundation of SEL.

  2. It was discussed that many representatives believe that talking about issues such as suicide with students will then cause suicide. We know this is not true, and that the Jason Flatt Act requires important training for all school employees because it is so imperative that those working in schools know and understand the aspects of preventing suicide.

  3. HB2513: This bill would impact school counselors and other mental health workers in schools by putting restrictions on data collection and screening. One of the most important things to note with this bill is that the part that is struck through that says that this does not apply to school counselors should be added back in and should also add the language to include “school counselors and other mental health professionals.” This is imperative because we, as school counselors, must be able to screen, collect data, etc.This bill would impede our ability to do behavioral and self-harm screenings. The 4 month window for consent does not allow for crisis situations.

  4. HB2505: This bill would impact the work we do with college and career readiness. In terms of career and post-secondary this phrase: “Section 1. K.S.A. 72-6316 is hereby amended to read as follows: 72- 6316. (a) No test, questionnaire, survey or examination containing any questions about the student's personal and private attitudes, values” brings career readiness to halt. It also bans program evaluation; surveying students is one way of finding out if what you're doing works. Career and post-secondary decisions are personal attitudes and values.

If you feel inclined to reach out to your representatives, here are some tips:

*Always utilize your personal email

*Use your personal experiences as a school counselor and how these bills and SEL

directly impact the work you are doing with students. These personal narratives are


*ASCA Position on the School Counselor's Role in SEL

Senate Education Committee Emails

House Education Committee Emails

Education Budget Committee

Find Your Legislators Emails

Thank you for taking the time to advocate for our students and our work as school counselors. If you have any questions, concerns, or need help with emailing legislators, please reach out to our President at

Kansas School Counseling Association Board


Optional Email Text (please personalize as you see fit):

Hello. I am a school counselor or school counseling student at _______________School and a constituent in your district, and because I see the serious issues being addressed in schools today, I am paying close attention to the Kansas Legislature this year. I am specifically concerned about the lack of P-12 licensed school counselors and barriers to loan forgiveness for school counselors. Are you aware that the Kansas death by suicide rate has been higher than the national rate since 2002? Research supports that implementing a comprehensive program with a licensed school counselor positively impacts the social emotional and mental health of ALL P-12 students. I know your position requires making many difficult decisions, but I hope you will make decisions that make a difference in the lives of all Kansans, perhaps even save lives.

I would welcome the opportunity to visit with you regarding the role and expertise of a licensed school counselor. Please feel free to contact me. We thank you for your service to our state.


ASCA Legislative Affairs Website ASCA Legislative Affairs Website

Call to Action

Elementary & Secondary School Counseling Act, S. 3427/H.R. 6775: Contact your members of Congress to request they support the new Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act! This bill will provide grant funding to states to address the nationally established staffing ratios of school counselors, school psychologists and school social workers. The current school counselor to student ratio is 1:464, nearly double the recommendation of 1:250.

KS Association of School Boards

ASCA Counselor News

December 2017

by Katy O'Grady

By Mindy Hall

ASCA - 1101 King Street, Suite 310, Alexandria VA 22314, (703) 683-ASCA, © Copyright 2018 American School Counselor Association. All Rights Reserved.

Find your representative or senator and his/her voting record on the Kansas Legislature website.