SPRINGFIELD, ILL. (KMOX) – An education funding bill just passed in Illinois. One of the things educators hope it will bring is more counselors into the schools.
Sarah Patterson-Mills is Program Director for School Counseling at Lindenwood University. She helped write part of the new legislation calling for more counselors in schools of all levels in all regions of Illinois.
Patterson-Mills says a counselor’s focus has expanded.
“The services really follow three tracks: career, academic, and social emotional,” she says.
Counseling social and emotions issues, Patterson-Mills says, often means cutting out situations and backgrounds students walk in the school doors with.
“If you can do that, it really impacts your test scores. It increases retention, it increases attendance, so those are all things that every educator wants,” she says.
Illinois historically has been one of the worst states regarding the radio of counselor to students.