Statement on the Arizona Department of Education’s Investment in School Counselors and Social Workers

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Helios Education Foundation is grateful to Superintendent Hoffman for her leadership in investing $21.3 million of her federal discretionary dollars to fund the wait list for school counselors and social workers over the next two years.   This infusion of resources will help ensure more Arizona schools – especially those that are traditionally underserved - are able to meet student needs that were present before the pandemic but have been exacerbated by the challenges and uncertainty of the past year.      

We have seen how critically important mental health and other academic and social emotional support systems are to students.  Even with new state investment, too many  Arizona schools have not had the ability to have on campus social workers and counselors.  In fact, Arizona has had the highest counselor to student ratio in the nation which meant that many students simply never had access to a counselor to help keep them on track academically as well as connect them to community support services. 

The effects of the pandemic are far-reaching and as students are transitioning back to in-person learning, the support they will need both emotionally and academically is significant. These resources will help provide the supports needed to help ensure students stay on the path toward college and career success.

Helios Education Foundation will continue to be a partner in identifying opportunities to support students and educators as we collectively work to create more opportunities for all students to succeed.