State law requires the provision of school counseling or guidance services in elementary grade levels (K-8).
Texas Administrative Code 19 129.1045 Best Practices
(a) A school district shall consider the following best practices for truancy prevention measures. (9) At the beginning of each school year, conduct a needs assessment and identify and list, or map, services and programs available within the school district and the community that a school, a student, or a student's parent or guardian may access to address the student's barriers to attendance and make the information available to staff, students, and parents. The information must include, but is not limited to: (H) counseling services.
Texas Statutes Education Code 11.252 District-Level Planning and Decision-Making
(a) Each school district shall have a district improvement plan that is developed, evaluated, and revised annually, in accordance with district policy, by the superintendent with the assistance of the district-level committee established under Section 11.251. The purpose of the district improvement plan is to guide district and campus staff in the improvement of student performance for all student groups in order to attain state Standard in respect to the achievement indicators adopted under Section 39.053(c). The district improvement plan must include provisions for: (I) implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program under Section 33.005.
Texas Statutes Education Code 28.004. Local School Health Advisory Council and Health Education Instruction.
(c) The local school health advisory council’s duties include recommending: (2) policies, procedures, strategies, and curriculum appropriate for specific grade levels designed to prevent physical health concerns, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and mental health concerns, including suicide, through coordination of: (G) a comprehensive school counseling program under Section 33.005 [...] (4) strategies for integrating the curriculum components specified by Subdivision (2) with the following elements in a coordinated school health program for the district: (B) a comprehensive school counseling program under Section 33.005. [...] (k) A school district shall publish in the student handbook and post on the district’s Internet website, if the district has an Internet website: (5) for each campus in the district, a statement of whether the campus has a full-time nurse or full-time school counselor.
Texas Statutes Education Code 33.002 Certified School Counselor
(a) From funds appropriated for the purpose or other funds that may be used for the purpose, the commissioner shall distribute funds for programs under this subchapter. In distributing those funds, the commissioner shall give preference to a school district that received funds under this subsection for the preceding school year and then to the districts that have the highest concentration of students at risk of dropping out of school, as described by Section 29.081. To receive funds for the program, a school district must apply to the commissioner. For each school year that a school district receives funds under this subsection, the district shall allocate an amount of local funds for school guidance and counseling programs that is equal to or greater than the amount of local funds that the school district allocated for that purpose during the preceding school year. This section applies only to a school district that receives funds as provided by this subsection.
(b) A school district with 500 or more students enrolled in elementary school grades shall employ a school counselor certified under the rules of the State Board for Educator Certification for each elementary school in the district. A school district shall employ at least one school counselor for every 500 elementary school students in the district.
(c) A school district with fewer than 500 students enrolled in elementary school grades shall provide guidance and counseling services to elementary school students by:
(1) employing a part-time school counselor certified under the rules of the State Board for Educator Certification;
(2) employing a part-time teacher certified as a school counselor under the rules of the State Board for Educator Certification; or
(3) entering into a shared services arrangement agreement with one or more school districts to share a school counselor certified under the rules of the State Board for Educator Certification.
Texas Statutes Education Code 33.004. Parental Involvement.
(a) Each school shall obtain, and keep as part of the student’s permanent record, written consent of the parent or legal guardian as required under Section 33.003. The consent form shall include specific information on the content of the program and the types of activities in which the student will be involved. (b) Each school, before implementing a comprehensive school counseling program under Section 33.005, shall annually conduct a preview of the program for parents and guardians. All materials, including curriculum to be used during the year, must be available for a parent or guardian to preview during school hours. Materials or curriculum not included in the materials available on the campus for preview may not be used.
Texas Statutes Education Code 33.005 Developmental Guidance and Counseling Programs
(a) A school counselor shall work with the school faculty and staff, students, parents, and the community to plan, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive school counseling program that conforms to the most recent edition of the Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs developed by the Texas Counseling Association. (b) The school counselor shall design the program to include: (1) a guidance curriculum to help students develop their full educational potential, including the student’s interests and career objectives; (2) a responsive services component to intervene on behalf of any student whose immediate personal concerns or problems put the student’s continued educational, career, personal, or social development at risk; (3) an individual planning system to guide a student as the student plans, monitors, and manages the student’s own educational, career, personal, and social development; and (4) system support to support the efforts of teachers, staff, parents, and other members of the community in promoting the educational, career, personal, and social development of students.
Texas Statutes Education Code 33.006 School Counselors; General Duties
(a) The primary responsibility of a school counselor is to counsel students to fully develop each student’s academic, career, personal, and social abilities.
(b) In addition to a school counselor’s responsibility under Subsection (a), the school counselor shall:
(1) participate in planning, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive developmental guidance program to serve all students and to address the special needs of students:
(A) who are at risk of dropping out of school, becoming substance abusers, participating in gang activity, or committing suicide;
(B) who are in need of modified instructional strategies; or
(C) who are gifted and talented, with emphasis on identifying and serving gifted and talented students who are educationally disadvantaged;
(2) consult with a student’s parent or guardian and make referrals as appropriate in consultation with the student’s parent or guardian;
(3) consult with school staff, parents, and other community members to help them increase the effectiveness of student education and promote student success;
(4) coordinate people and resources in the school, home, and community;
(5) with the assistance of school staff, interpret standardized test results and other assessment data that help a student make educational and career plans;
(6) deliver classroom guidance activities or serve as a consultant to teachers conducting lessons based on the school’s guidance curriculum; and
(7) serve as an impartial, nonreporting resource for interpersonal conflicts and discord involving two or more students, including accusations of bullying under Section 37.0832.
(c) Nothing in Subsection (b)(7) exempts a school counselor from any mandatory reporting requirements imposed by other provisions of law.
Texas Statutes Education Code 38.0101. Authority to Employ or Contract with Nonphysician Mental Health Professional.
(a) A school district may employ or contract with one or more nonphysician mental health professionals. (b) In this section, “nonphysician mental health professional” means: (1) a psychologist licensed to practice in this state and designated as a health-service provider; (2) a registered nurse with a master’s or doctoral degree in psychiatric nursing; (3) a licensed clinical social worker; (4) a professional counselor licensed to practice in this state; or (5) a marriage and family therapist licensed to practice in this state.