Legislative proposal to fund more counselors in K-12 schools advances

    A legislative task force has advanced a bill proposal that would provide more counselors, nurses, and pupil support staff at K-12 schools in Wyoming.

    The draft legislation would remove those positions from the state’s K-12 block grant model for two school years and instead fund them separately at the level consultants recommended during the 2020 recalibration process.

    “The estimated impact of the draft bill, in its current form, is that an additional 186 positions would be allocated to school districts at an estimated cost of $15.8 million, annually,” state staffers said in a memo to the Mental Health and Vulnerable Adult Task Force last week.


    The details are likely to change as the proposal makes its way through the legislative process, but Wyoming Rep. Lloyd Larsen, R-Lander, said the intent of the bill is to “increase the number of counselors that we have in a district” so that schools are better equipped to identify, screen, and support students who are struggling with mental health issues.

    The draft now goes to a legislative committee for further consideration.

    “We’ll be moving forward with … broader conversations on further defining the state’s role,” Larsen said.


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