Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $24.8 million to 67 schools districts in 26 states to establish or expand counseling programs. The new Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grant awards will aid schools in hiring qualified mental-health professionals with the goal of expanding the range, availability, quantity and quality of counseling services. Parents of participating students will have input in the design and implementation of counseling ser-vices supported by these grants.
“School counselors are a vital resource for students and educators and play a key role in creating safe and productive learning environments,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, said.
“These grants will enhance schoolbased counseling programs, which have proven to be a great source of help for students and families with mental health and emotional issues.”
Funds also may be used to support parental involvement, counselor and teacher professional de-velopment and collaboration with community-based organizations.