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Oklahoma House passes school counselor bill

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Here’s some news out of the capitol:

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives would implement better intervention efforts when students are identified as needing counseling.

House Bill 2641, by state Rep. Lee Denney, creates the Twenty-first Century Successful Living Act. The legislation would require the Office of Juvenile Affairs and the Oklahoma Association of Youth Services to identify an evidence-based counseling curriculum for schools.

“This legislation will allow schools to be more proactive dealing with students who are in need of counseling to help them resolve the issues that may prevent these kids from succeeding in school and becoming productive citizens,” said Denney, R-Cushing. “Hopefully, we can put a lot of troubled youth back on the path to being model students.”

Under the bill, the Office of Juvenile Affairs would make the counseling available to students and school districts through designated youth service agencies.

If the bill becomes law, each of the existing 41 youth services agencies would train two staff and deliver services to approximately 75 students, for a total of 6,150 students served in the coming fiscal year.

During the second year of the program, the number of students served would double to 12,300. During the third year of the program, the agency expects to serve 18,450 students.

House Bill 2641 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 70-15 vote. It now awaits a hearing in the state Senate.

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Carrie Coppernoll

Carrie Coppernoll is a columnist and reporter. She was named the top personal columnist in Oklahoma in 2009 and 2010 by the Associated Press and Association of Newspaper Editors. She was also named the 2008 Journalist of the Year by the Oklahoma... Read more ›