Bills could eliminate guidance counselors, school nurses

Tyler Kingkade

Recently introduced legislation in the Iowa House of Representatives by Rep. Betty De Boef, R-What Cheer, would strike the requirement public schools maintain a school nurse and qualified guidance counselors.

Currently, school districts are required to provide a guidance counselor for every 350 students, and a nurse for every 750 enrolled students in K-12 schools.

The bills, House Files 371 and 372, would strike the provision in Iowa code authorizing a school budget review committee to grant additional aid to schools adding more counselors or nurses.

Guidance counselors have a range of duties in the K-12 system. They include assisting students of all ages with personal issues, like problems at home or disagreements among friends, and helping high school students prepare for and apply to colleges.

The bills do not require any layoffs, but would allow school districts to make those choices.