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Arizona schools improving on student to counselor ratio

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Despite lowering the student-to-counselor ratio from 905:11 to the new ratio of 716:1, Superintendent Kathy Hoffman said Arizona still far exceeds the recommended standard which is 250:1.

Tucson Unified School District officials said right now, it is challenging to reach that ratio and provide services to students due to staffing issues and the lack of funding.

"We would love to have ratios as low as 250 students to one counselor," TUSD Board Member Adelita Grijalva said. "That would be so wonderful, but we don't even have those at our high schools. We have four counselors that are dealing with an entire freshman class or sophomore class of 800 students." 

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said "over the past two school years, the mental health needs of our students have risen to the forefront of my conversations with teachers, parents and even lawmakers. With all the challenges imposed on us by the pandemic, I've heard clearly that the services offered by our public schools are critical to student wellbeing."

News 4 Tucson spoked with one parent within TUSD who said their child is fortunate to see a counselor each week to stay on track.

"It's so useful because the counselor can talk to the teacher," said Laura Sagerman. "She can sit in the the classes. She really knows what's going on in the school and that's where a lot of issues happen. So it is vital to have someone like that in the school."