Budget Cuts Lead to Counselor Issues

Do you feel like you don't see your guidance counselor as often as you want to? Well you're not alone. Many students in East Haven high school feel this way too.There are about 900 students in this school and only 4 guidance counselors. These counselors approximately have 225 students each. The number of counselors has been reduced in the past five years because of budget cuts.

One EHHS student feels, “[L]ike that's not enough, it makes it harder for each kid to get the help they need since the counselors need to deal with so many kids.” Another student said, “I feel like there should be more guidance counselors so that it would be easier for them to get to know the students individually, especially as a senior.” The students make a very good point. These counselors have so many students to deal with that a lot of the time there not even in their room because there in a meeting with another student's parents or doing something important.

Some students feel like they can’t even depend on their counselors for help, or that their counselor does not really know them because they are so busy throughout their day. An EHHS student expressed, “On a personal level I feel like my guidance counselor knows nothing about me. I feel like the only thing she knows about me is my grades. My guidance counselor probably has no idea of the person I really am and what my future plans are.” The reasoning for this is because the counselors are so busy with everything else that most of the time they're not able to be there to get to know their students on a more personal level.

Therefore, our school needs more guidance counselors available for our students. One of the main reasons that more guidance counselors cannot be made available is because our budget has been reduced again this year. It was reduced in total by $408,818 due to the loss of funding from a grant. In total, teachers’ (and guidance counselors’ salaries account for 53% of the total education budget for the East Haven Public Schools. Over the past five years, the total amount of guidance counselors’ salaries has been reduced by about $100,000. We lost a counselor here at the high school and he was not replaced. Since then, we have seen these issues between students and their counselor’s availability.

Credit: East Haven Public Schools Board of Education Proposed Budget 2017-2018