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HB 906 and The work of past president, Tammi Mackeben

Tammi serves on the Taskforce through representation from the Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA).

HB906 is an act relating to the establishment of a collaborative task force to study certain public school

mental health services. The taskforce is comprised of an LPC, LSCW or school counselor, a psychiatrist,

two district administrators, a member of a mental health foundation, a member of higher education and

a licensed school psychologist. The taskforce is lead by TEA. The Taskforce is a five-year term and the

goals of the taskforce are to study and evaluate the following:

1) Mental health services that are funded by the state and provided at a school district or open-

enrollment charter school for students, family members and employees of the school district or

open-enrollment charter school;

2) Training provided to an educator employed by the district or open-enrollment charter school on

mental health services;

3) The impact of mental health services;

4) The number of violent incidents that occur in a school districts or open-enrollment charter schools;

5) The suicide rate for individuals that have been provided mental health services;

6) The number of students reported to DPS;

7) The number of students transported to emergency detention centers;

8) The number of students referred to outside mental health counselors.

The Taskforce will incorporate other mental health bills including SB11, HB18 and HB19 as they study

evaluate and make recommendations. The Taskforce will make recommendations to our state

legislature in 2020, 2022 and then in 2024. LSSSCA has completed the first of many work sessions to

provide feedback from the perspective of you, the Texas School Counselor. We look forward to

continued work sessions, with other important stakeholders on the HB906 Taskforce, to assure all Texas

students have access to mental health services and that adults in education are provided adequate

training on mental health in the schools. Through LSSSCA’s robust representation on legislative matters

that effect Texas School Counselors and Texas students, we will make a difference for the next

generation.


ADVOCACY DAY 2019 - LSSSCA on the HILL - March 5, 2019

We are very excited to announce the Lone Star State School Counselor Association Advocacy Day on Tuesday March 5, 2019.  This is our opportunity to let our policymakers at the capitol hear our voices and impact change for professional school counselors, students, and families across the state of Texas.  


LSSSCA will provide:

-Brief training/preparation for meeting with your legislator

-List of bills that impact school counseling by number and Author/Sponsor that impact school counseling

-Legislative priorities/handouts for legislators

-Meeting place for school counselors-Capitol Grill Small Banquet Room reserved

-Map of the capitol building


Look up your legislator here:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx


Your legislator’s contact information will be provided once you look him/her up on the website.  Contact your Senator and House Representative right away and schedule an appointment to meet in person on March 5th.  At minimum, take the opportunity to meet with a staffer if that is what is available that day. They will share your information with the legislator.


Check on bills related to counselors/education (search for keywords like: School Counselor, Mental Health, etc):

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Search/BillSearch.aspx


We will save a seat for you: Let us know you plan to attend:

https://goo.gl/forms/CjA71WaYbieujaiw2


Agenda For the Day:

  • 9:00 a.m.-Arrival
  • 9:30-Advocacy Training *(optional training; attendees will only need to attend one)
  • 10:30-Advocacy Training

Remainder of the day will be dedicated to meeting legislators and sharing school counselor information in support of legislation priorities.


We look forward to seeing you in Austin March 5, 2019 as we Empower School Counselors and Change Lives!

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LSSSCA Legislative Update

The Texas Legislature is in session and school related issues are taking a front seat this biennium.  Two areas that have the attention of our lawmakers are school funding and school safety. As a vital part of the education equation, school counselors certainly have a role in school safety.  Additionally, increased and equitable funding of public education will be critical to providing the direct access to school counselors for the students of Texas. Education and taking care of educators are clearly the focus of bipartisan and bicameral agreement.


Governor Abbott has called school finance an emergency item.  This directive has helped guide early legislative ideas to include proposals for teacher pay increases and school finance reform.  Both of these key issues will undoubtedly be a major focus of the session and could stand to benefit all students and educators.


Governor Abbott was quoted: “Our mission begins with our students.”  This is in response to both increased funding and school safety. In response to school safety, LSSSCA has developed talking points that are available on our website to help school counselors communicate the vital role counselors play in school safety.  We are certainly a critical puzzle piece to prevention and intervention efforts.


We are at a pivotal moment in our efforts to support students through the work of school counselors.  The time to advocate and educate is here. Take the time to visit our advocacy page at:

https://www.lonestarstateschoolcounselor.org/WA-Themes

Look for:

-Talking Points and Legislative Priorities

-Advocacy Day Information

-86th Legislature Bill Tracker Information

-Legislator Look-Up Tool

-Contact information to partner with LSSSCA to advocate on behalf of school counselors


Together our voices will carry across Texas.  

Advocacy July 2018

LSSSCA's Director of Advocacy, Wes Upton, testified on behalf of school counselors at the Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security on July 18, 2018. This was a long day in Austin, but the role of the school counselor is important.  Look for the testimony at the 7:56 mark on the recording for our  testimony.

TESTIMONY

Advocacy Day 2017

LSSSCA hosted its first Advocacy Day  4/25/17!  We had a strong turn out and we all had the opportunity to learn from our advocacy training provided by Kathryn Everest and Dr. Yznaga. 

Each participant was able to meet with either their elected official or an office staffer to promote the key advocacy priorities outlined by LSSSCA.  Each meeting established a foundational rapport with our legislators and will allow continued dialogues through this session and beyond.

We feel confident after our discussions that legislation that may have diverted money from public education to fund vouchers, education saving accounts, or other entities without providing accountability and services to all students, is not moving forward in the house. The opposition to this type of move was supported by Texas PTA, Texas Association of School Administrators, as well as many teacher organizations.

That was good news!We will continue to ask that you each reach out to your elected officials in their home offices and through phone calls or letters to express your advocacy for our students and our profession.  You can make a difference!







Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA) of Texas is a proud division of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

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