School counselors and social workers; student to position ratio, certain schools. (HB398)

Introduced By

Del. Mark Keam (D-Vienna)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


School counselors and social workers; student to position ratio; certain schools. Requires school boards to employ one school counselor and one social worker for every 250 students in each elementary school, middle school, and high school in which at least 50 percent of the students are eligible for federal free lunch. This bill was incorporated into HB 1508. Read the Bill »


01/29/2020: Incorporated into Another Bill


01/02/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20104142D
01/02/2020Referred to Committee on Education
01/13/2020Assigned Education sub: SOL and SOQ
01/24/2020Impact statement from DHCD/CLG (HB398)
01/24/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB398)
01/27/2020Subcommittee recommends incorporating (HB1508-McQuinn)
01/29/2020Incorporated by Education (HB1508-McQuinn)


Ronald Quasebarth writes:

We seem way over covered by so many kinds of special services personnel in schools now. Where is the need? There may be some but this looks like more government seeking to grow itself instead of meeting a need first.

Lou Di Leonardo writes:

Why is eligibility for free lunch a criteria for hiring counselors? What does that have to do with anything. Now if the criteria were to be something like 50% of the children in that school coming from fatherless homes or from homes where a parent was severely injured in a war or in a crime that would seem reasonable. Maybe you should consider providing counselors to schools were 50% of the children's parent(s) have a car older than 5 years.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Eligibility for free lunch is the only data point that is available to schools. They do not have access to information like single-parent households or...uh...injuries in crimes.

Miriam Sullivan writes:

Why does a free lunch program for pupils have any connection with counselors & social workers in Virginia public schools? Social services connected to a "free lunch program" could monitor, more closely, parents receiving government benefits (paid for by taxpayers) for their children & insist on accountability of the pupils' parents. I'm not convinced that staffing more social workers & counselors into Virginia public schools will "help" anything??? Schools should be primarily around for education. "Ffixing" family situations & problems should fall under Social services. Social services, if managed properly, could leverage some accountability on the parts of the parents. For example... if pupils' parents receive subsidized housing, food stamps, etc,... are the pupils getting fed a hot dinner & breakfast daily? If not, why not? Are the parents home in the pm preparing dinner & monitoring their children? I've heard that some food stamp recipients sell food stamps for alcoholic beverages & drug $$- Are curfews enforced for children by parents receiving government benefits for their children? Social workers & counselors might better serve minors/pupils at their homes & in their neighborhood settings than in the school setting. Make the parents accountable by reducing benefits, etc,...