Arizona remains worst state in nation for student-to-counselor ratio

May 9, 2019, 4:35 AM

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona remains the worst state in the nation for its student-to-counselor ratio, according to a new report released by the American School Counselor Association.

“Unfortunately, Arizona in the past couple of years has had the worst student-to-counselor ratio,” Amanda Nolasco, assistant chair of the association, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

“We have been working a lot in our association in the last two years to bring awareness to the fact that our students are not being serviced by school counselors.”

The report analyzed U.S. Department of Education data from the 2016-2017 school year, the most recent available.

In Arizona, there were 905 students to each counselor, compared to a 903-to-1 ratio for the 2015-2016 school year.

According to the report, the Grand Canyon State had a total of about 1.12 million students and only 1,241 school counselors.

Michigan came in as the second-worst state with a ratio of 741 students per counselor, followed by Illinois with a ratio of 686-to-1.

The national average improved to 455 students per counselor, down from 464 the previous year.

The association recommends a ratio of 250 students per counselor, a guideline that only Vermont, New Hampshire and the U.S. Virgin Islands met.

Nolasco said her group helped introduce two bills, SB 1344 and HB 2652, this year that would have worked toward reducing the ratio in Arizona, but neither of them were granted a hearing in committee.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey told KTAR News’ Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday that he is working to increase the number of school counselors in Arizona in an effort to improve students’ mental health.

On Wednesday, he signed the Mitch Warnock Act, which will require all of the state’s school faculty to complete suicide prevention training.

Ducey’s proposed budget includes $12 million to hire an additional 224 counselors for the state’s schools, which Nolasco said she would like to see approved.

“We need more counselors, and we also need teachers and educators to be aware of the warning signs inside the school,” Ducey said.

“We want to try to address this from every angle possible.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The first batch of bottle-fed baby kittens of the year under the Arizona Humane Society's care are ...

Arizona Humane Society’s 1st bottle baby kittens of 2024 ready for adoption

The first batch of bottle-fed baby kittens of the year under the Arizona Humane Society's care are now ready for their forever homes.

3 hours ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former Arizona grad student convicted of first-degree murder in 2022 shooting of professor

A former University of Arizona grad student was convicted of first-degree murder after fatally shooting a professor on campus two years ago.

7 hours ago

(Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Elderly woman presumed dead in northern Arizona after reporting her house on fire

An elderly woman was believed to have been found dead in her northern Arizona home after she had reported that it caught fire on Saturday.

8 hours ago

fall off Gilbert multi-story parking garage...

19-year-old dies after falling from Gilbert parking garage, police say

Police said 19-year-old Mubasher Masood died after falling off the top of a Gilbert multi-story parking garage.

9 hours ago

Gas prices are on the decline in Arizona. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)...

Danny Shapiro

Arizona gas prices on the fall heading into Memorial Day weekend

Arizona drivers will get the benefit of decreasing gas prices heading into Memorial Day weekend.

11 hours ago


Sponsored Content by Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Arizona remains worst state in nation for student-to-counselor ratio