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Gov. Doug Ducey proposes $12 million for Arizona school counselors

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Teachers are getting more money from the state, and school counselors could soon join them.

Gov. Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.) joined the Arizona School Counselors Association this week at its conference in Scottsdale.

“We were all so excited that he mentioned us in his budget for the first time in Arizona history,” said assistant chairwoman Amanda Nolasco.

She hopes legislators approves the governor’s two-year, $12-million increase to hire 220 new social workers and counselors. They average 903 students each.

Lawmakers also put forth SB 1344 and HB 2652 in hopes of aiding counselors.

They’re part of “a five-year plan that would bring our ratio down to 500-to-1, and it’s phased in over the next five years,” Nolasco said.

Arizona requires school counselors to have master’s degrees in that subject.

Arizona teachers are slated to get 20 percent pay increases over the next two years.

Nolasco sees no rivalry between her peers and teachers.

“The teachers and the counselors, school psychologists, the administration, social workers — we all work together to work with the whole child to make sure they’re successful,” she said.

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