Senate Bill No. 20

(By Senators Edgell and Minard)


[Introduced January 8, 2003; referred to the Committee on Education.]


A BILL to amend and reenact section eighteen-b, article five, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to school guidance counselors; clarifying duties; and defining "counselor-related administrative activities".

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That section eighteen-b, article five, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§18-5-18b. School counselors in public schools.

(a) A school counselor means a professional educator who holds a valid school counselor's certificate in accordance with article three of this chapter.

(b) Each county board shall provide counseling services for
each pupil enrolled in the public schools of the county.
(c) The school counselor shall work with individual pupils and groups of pupils in providing developmental, preventive and remedial guidance and counseling programs to meet academic, social, emotional and physical career and personal/social needs, including programs to identify and address the problem of potential school dropouts, in accordance with the rules established by the state board. The school counselor also may provide consultant services for parents, teachers and administrators and may use outside referral services, when appropriate, if no additional cost is incurred by the county board.

(d) The state board may shall adopt rules consistent with the provisions of this section that define the role of a school counselor based on the "National Standards for School Counseling Programs" of the American school counselor association. A school counselor is authorized to perform such services as are not inconsistent with the provisions of the rule as adopted by the state board. To the extent that any funds are made available for this purpose, County boards shall provide training for counselors and administrators to implement the rule as adopted by the state board.

(e) Each county board shall develop a comprehensive drop-out prevention program utilizing using the expertise of school counselors and any other appropriate resources available.

(f) School counselors shall be full-time professional personnel, shall spend at least seventy-five percent of work time in a direct counseling relationship with pupils, and shall devote no more than one fourth of the workday to counseling-related administrative activities: Provided, That such activities are counselor related. For the purpose of this section only "counseling-related administrative activities" includes: developing and implementing counseling-related events such as orientation and transition programs, financial aid workshops, career and college planning processes, developmental guidance activities, preventive-focused programs, and other student-centered activities; writing letters of recommendation containing discriminate information; supervising the maintenance of student records; and maintaining accurate counseling case notes. For purposes of this section only, "counseling-related administrative activities" does not include activities of a clerical nature such as data entry, the filing of student records and forms, and the duplication of documents and materials for distribution.

(g) Nothing in this section prohibits a county board from exceeding the provisions of this section, or requires any specific level of funding by the Legislature.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify the duties of school guidance counselors and to define "counseling-related administrative activities" as those activities related to school guidance counselors.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.