SB 763 and Texas School Counselors
SB 763 was filed during the most recent legislative session. It included language giving districts permission to hire chaplains for school counselor positions, as filed, it read:
LSSSCA immediately launched an advocacy campaign directed to the members of the Senate Education Committee and the full Senate with the following message:
Many LSSSCA members participated in this campaign. More than 230 messages were sent to legislators. As a result of this effort, the bill was amended. The original language regarding hiring chaplains in a school counselor role was replaced with the paragraph below:
The entire bill and its activity and amendments can be found here: https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB763/2023
LSSSCA advocacy is ongoing to protect school counseling and students. You’re encouraged to stay connected to the association to see how you can participate in future advocacy efforts.
UPDATES ON SB 763
Thank you for the action you took on April 4 & 5 and doing so on just a moment’s notice! Thank you for every call, email and/or participation in the Call to Action on SB 763 that would allow school districts to hire chaplains in lieu of school counselors. 88(R) SB 763 - Introduced version - Bill Text (texas.gov)
Your voices were heard. During the hearing, Senator Middleton explained SB 763 and provided a committee substitute, which is a revised version of the proposed bill. The language was changed to allow districts to hire chaplains “in addition to” instead of “in lieu of” school counselors. To listen, please click on the link and fast forward to 3:09: Senate Committee on Education (Part II) - Apr 5th, 2023 (granicus.com). Review the revised version here: SB 763 Committee Substitute
The first time a bill is heard in Committee it is left pending - 99% of the time. Pending means “pending Committee action.” The next step is for the committee to vote out the bill with the substitute and recommend it for the full Senate. We will be watching for this vote and when it is scheduled to be heard by the full Senate.
On April 20, 2023 another proposed bill is being heard - HB 3614 - Chaplains as School Counselors. We are expecting the same outcome as with SB 763 with a committee substitute to mirror Middleton’s bill of not replacing school counselors but gives districts the option to hire chaplains. We will continue to monitor the hearing and will share the committee substitute for this proposed bill once received.
Thank you for uniting together against SB 763. As we continue to follow what takes place in our state we will keep you informed.