ALL NEWS

State takes steps to better fund school psychologists and social workers

Aug 12, 2019, 11:10 PM | Updated: Aug 13, 2019, 5:24 am

KSL Newsradio Q&A Coronavirus...

(Image credit: Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The school year begins in less than a week for many kids all over Utah.  Districts are finding the teachers they need to fill the classrooms, but, do they have enough counselors?

The recommendation set by the American School Counselor Association is to have one counselor for every 250 students.  However, recent reports show the average counselor is seeing roughly double the number of students they should, with a national average of 500 to one.

There are districts within the state of Utah, like Alpine and Canyons, that already have enough counselors to handle the school year.  Other positions, like school psychologists and social workers, are harder to fill.  The Canyons School District is still looking for people to fill four school psychologist spots.

District Director of Responsive Services BJ Weller says colleges in Utah aren’t providing enough opportunities for people to become school psychologists.

“When I talked with the University of Utah and BYU, they only accept ten to 12 people into their program a year.  In the state of Utah, if you have 20 to 30 psychologists leaving the profession a year, there’s not enough to cover the difference,” Weller says.

Social workers are even more difficult to find.  Weller says there are essentially no classes available that give people the proper training.  However, they’re trying to change that.

Weller says, “We’ve been working with the University of Utah to create that specific track.  So, individuals earning their Masters Degree in social work can take classes specifically needed to help them become social workers.”

State educators are optimistic about filling these needs in the future.

“We are seeing legislation that is responsive to allocate additional funds to put in more school-based mental health support,” according to Utah Board of Education School Counseling Program Specialist Kim Hererra.

House Bill 373 was designed to provide $16 million this year for schools to increase resources for mental health care

Hererra says, “Next year, it’s going to $26 million and, with that money, [local education agencies] can choose to hire school counselors, social workers, school psychologists or contract with a local mental health agency.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

The OLRGC released an analysis of the expected topics to be discussed during a special session of t...

Simone Seikaly

Extending state flooding emergency, firearm restrictions, among topics for Utah special session

The OLRGC released an analysis of the expected topics to be discussed during a special session of the legislature.

19 days ago

A video recorded by Facebook user Larry Jacquez shows the police response following the shooting in...

Jamiel Lynch, CNN     

At least 3 people killed and 2 officers wounded in a shooting in Farmington, New Mexico, police say

Multiple people were shot and at least three killed in a shooting in Farmington, New Mexico, police said in a Facebook post.

19 days ago

A new release from Intermountain Healthcare shows that younger adults are becoming more susceptible...

Waverly Golden

Younger adults are becoming more susceptible to strokes

A new release from Intermountain Healthcare shows that younger adults are becoming more susceptible to stroke.

19 days ago

If you plan to camp over Memorial Day Weekend, you may want to begin the planning process now....

Allessandra Harris

Camping over Memorial Day Weekend? Plan ahead

If you plan to camp over Memorial Day Weekend, you may want to begin the planning process now.

19 days ago

slcpd on the scene of the deaths...

Josh Ellis

Police: Teen killed by father in murder-suicide in SLC office building

Police responded to the office complex near 3000 S. Highland Drive on Saturday after emergency responders received a call from a community member who reported finding a body.

19 days ago

Melissa Coleman crouches next to her husband, , Brad Coleman, of North Ogden, who sits in a wheelch...

Jenny Carpenter, KSL.com

Young stroke victim survives with quick, lifesaving treatment in northern Utah

After a 36-year-old man had a stroke, he and his wife say to be aware of the signs of stroke and that young people are also at risk.

19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

State takes steps to better fund school psychologists and social workers