What is the cost to change the student to counseling ratio to 250:1 in elementary schools? Please provide the current counselor staffing ratios for various allocations including focus and non-focus schools.

Question#: 9


The Recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Operating Budget Appendix C, Pre-K–12 Budget Staffing Guidelines, includes staffing for elementary school counselors at a 1.0 Full-time Equivalent (FTE) per elementary school. An additional 0.5 FTE counselor position is allocated to non-focus schools with projected Grades K-5 enrollment greater than 700, to focus schools with projected Grades K-5 enrollment greater than 600, and to Title I schools with projected Grades K-5 enrollment greater than 510 and less than or equal to 650. An additional 1.0 FTE counselor is allocated to Title I schools with projected Grades K-5 enrollment greater than 650.

Allocating counselors in elementary schools using a ratio of 250:1 requires an extraordinary amount of staffing due to the size of elementary schools and because counselors only are allocated in 0.5 FTE and 1.0 FTE allocations. For example, we have many elementary schools with enrollment between 350 and 450 students. For each of these schools, we would need to allocate 1.5 or 2.0 FTE counselors, bringing the ratio close to 200:1, because not allocating at that level would mean the ratio would be more than 250:1. If the 250:1 ratio is used, 97 elementary schools will be understaffed.

As a result, in order to change the ratio in elementary schools to 250 students to 1 counselor, an additional 107.5 FTE counselor positions would need to be added to the FY 2023 Operating Budget at a cost of $11,137,860, including employee benefits. The number of FTE counselor positions needed at each type of school follows.

  • Focus schools —25.5 FTE
  • Non-focus schools—60.5 FTE
  • Title I —21.5 FTE

The FY 2022 counselor staffing allocations and ratios for elementary schools are attached.

  • Attachment A – Elementary focus schools
  • Attachment B – Elementary non-focus schools
  • Attachment C – Elementary Title I schools

Each spreadsheet is sorted by the FY 2022 Projected Enrollment column, largest to smallest. Each spreadsheet also includes the January 19, 2022, enrollment for each school.