TUCSON, Ariz. - Mental health issues and school safety concerns were a major focus Tuesday night at the Tucson Unified School Board meeting.
The Board unanimously passed a resolution declaring support for mental health services in schools.
Tucson High School students worked with board member Kristel Foster to draft the resolution, drawing attention to the need for more school counselors. Those students addressed the Board with personal stories of their own mental health struggles, and shared how they wished school counselors were more easily accessible for help.
Currently, there are roughly 900 students to one counselor in Arizona schools, according to the American School Counselor Association. Tucson High students called that ratio "devastating."
Several @tucsonunified high school students address the board tonight about the need for more mental health resources. They say student to counselor ratio is too high and not realistic for kids who need help @kgun9 pic.twitter.com/kQf1Lcu6D1— Natalie Tarangioli (@ntarangioli) January 16, 2019
This doesn't mean more counselors will be in TUSD schools tomorrow. That's where the Board is asking the State Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey to allocate more funds to lower the ratio to 250 students to one counselor.
The district has upcoming job fairs at the beginning of February and March to tackle teacher vacancies and also hire for counselors.