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A03463
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1665
Session of
2023
INTRODUCED BY STEELE, D. MILLER, SANCHEZ, MADDEN, SCHLOSSBERG,
McNEILL, HANBIDGE, FREEMAN, KHAN, HOWARD, PROBST, ROZZI,
DELLOSO, STURLA, MAYES, FIEDLER, BOYD AND WARREN,
SEPTEMBER 12, 2023
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, SEPTEMBER 12, 2023
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," providing for comprehensive school
counseling services.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding an
article to read:
ARTICLE XIII-F
COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL COUNSELING SERVICES
Section 1301-F. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
" Administrative activities." Activities that are not
directly related to the plan and that are absent of any direct
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student services or interaction.
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Direct services." As follows:
(1) Services that are provided through face-to-face
contact with students.
(2) The term includes the following:
(i) Classroom instruction.
(ii) Individual and group counseling for students.
(iii) Responsive services on behalf of a student
whose immediate personal concerns and problems put the
student's academic, career or social and emotional
development at risk. Responsive services include the
administration of a risk-assessment.
(iv) Interventions for a student who is:
(A) at risk of dropping out of school; or
(B) exhibiting dangerous behaviors, such as drug
use, self-harm or gang activity.
"Indirect services." Consultations among a student, a parent
or legal guardian of the student, school staff and community
agencies concerning the student's academic, career or social and
emotional needs.
"Plan." The comprehensive school counseling plan under
section 1302-F.
"School entity." Any of the following:
(1) A school district.
(2) A public school as defined in 24 Pa.C.S. § 8102
(relating to definitions).
(3) An intermediate unit as described in Article IX-A.
(4) A charter school as defined in section 1703-A.
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(5) A cyber charter school as defined in section 1703-A.
(6) A regional charter school as defined in section
1703-A.
(7) An area career and technical school as described in
section 1841.
Section 1302-F. Comprehensive school counseling plan.
(a) Authorization and purpose.-- Each school entity shall
develop and implement a written comprehensive school counseling
plan that ensures that student services are coordinated in a
manner that provides comprehensive and developmental support to
all students of the school entity.
(b) Requirements generally.--A plan must:
(1) Be implemented by a Pennsylvania-certified school
counselor or counseling team working within each school in
the school entity.
(2) Utilize nationally recognized and State-recognized
counselor frameworks.
(3) Be reviewed annually and updated as needed by the
school counselor or counseling team, in collaboration with
each affected building principal as well as other
stakeholders and staff of each school entity.
(4) Be systemically aligned from kindergarten through
grade 12 within the school entity, including transitions
across schools within the school entity.
(5) Include sections for each grade and building within
the school entity, including student transitions between
grades and buildings as well as student transition to other
school entities.
( 6) Be reflected in and integrated alongside the school
entity's student services plan as required under 22 Pa. Code
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§ 4.13 (relating to strategic plans) or any successor
regulation.
(c) Components.--A plan must contain the following:
(1) A foundation component, which must include:
(i) A vision statement.
(ii) A mission statement.
(iii) Plan goals.
(2) A management component, which utilizes assessments
and other data to develop, implement and evaluate the plan.
(3) A delivery component, which focuses on direct
services and indirect services through the implementation of
the plan and which shall include:
(i) A plan for each grade taught by the school
entity.
( ii) A plan for students with individualized
education plans and other special needs.
(iii) A plan for each building in the school entity,
if applicable.
(4) An accountability component, which ensures regular
analysis of the plan.
(d) Contents.--A plan must:
(1) Guide students in academic pursuits, career planning
and social and emotional learning.
(2) Follow the comprehensive school counseling program
guidance provided by the department.
(3) Include goals that are developed annually based on
the vision and mission statements that are shared by
stakeholders to ensure equitable access to opportunities for
all students.
(4) Identify student needs through a multilevel school
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data review that includes:
(i) Data analysis.
(ii) Use-of-time data review.
(iii) Program results data.
(iv) Communication and contact with administrators,
students, parents and guardians of students and
stakeholders.
Section 1303-F. School counselor use of time.
(a) General requirement.-- Sufficient time at each school
entity shall be allotted for the school entity's counselor to
carry out the duties stated in the school entity's plan.
(b) Direct and indirect services.--
(1) A school counselor shall spend at least 80% of the
school counselor's working time during student contact days
providing direct services and indirect services to students.
(2) Direct services and indirect services may be
provided in collaboration with other school personnel and
include:
(i) Providing academic advisement services,
including:
(A) Developing an individual planning system to
guide a student to access and monitor the student's
own educational, career and social and emotional
progress.
(B) Guiding a student along the pathways to
graduation.
(C) Guiding a student in goal-setting
experiences and course selection aligned with the
student's post-secondary goals.
(D) Addressing accelerated learning
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opportunities.
(E) Addressing academic deficits and the
accessibility of resources.
(F) Providing student assessment reviews,
interest inventories or academic results needed to
develop, review and revise a student's plan of study.
(G) Providing support for students who show
potential so they are more likely to engage in
rigorous coursework and take advantage of post-
secondary opportunities.
(ii) Providing a career planning process, including:
(A) Guidance in understanding the relationship
between classroom performance and success in school
and beyond.
(B) The provision of resources to identify
career interests and aptitudes to assist a student in
age-appropriate college and career planning.
(C) Guidance in understanding the advantages of
completing career certifications and internships.
(D) Interpretation of augmented, criterion-
referenced or norm-referenced assessments for
students and parents or guardians of students.
(E) The provision of information to a parent or
legal guardian of a student, such as through
workshops on preparing for college, financial aid and
career opportunities.
(F) Encouragement to a parent or legal guardian
of a student to support partnerships in the student's
learning and career planning processes.
(iii) Providing social and emotional skills designed
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to support students, including programs to:
(A) P romote cultural and social awareness,
positive communication and relationship skills,
collaboration with others and responsible decision
making.
(B) Improve culture and climate in the school
entity so that all students can feel that they are in
a safe and supportive environment.
(C) Develop conflict-resolution skills.
(D) Prevent bullying, including:
(I) Training programs for school employees
regarding how to recognize bullying behaviors.
(II) Protocols for responding to bullying
that is occurring in the school entity.
(III) Strategies that support a student who
is being bullied.
(IV) Strategies that help a bystander speak
out against bullying.
(E) Address age-appropriate suicide awareness
and prevention through:
(I) Strategies that help identify a student
who is at risk for suicide.
(II) Strategies and protocols that help a
student who is at risk for suicide.
(III) Protocols for responding to a suicide
death.
(iv) Intervening with students who are at risk of
dropping out of school to determine if there is a way to
keep the students in school.
(v) Providing orientation programs for new students
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and transferring students at each level of education.
(vi) Serving as a contributing member of decision-
making teams and programs, which include:
(A) Teams that are convened under 29 U.S.C. §
794 (relating to nondiscrimination under Federal
grants and programs).
(B) Multitiered System of Supports (MTSS) or
Response to Intervention (RTI) teams.
(C) English language learner programs.
(D) Parental involvement or family engagement
programs.
(E) Positive behavioral intervention support
programs.
(F) Advanced placement and gifted and talented
programs.
(c) Administrative activities.--
(1) Administrative activities performed by a school
counselor shall not exceed more than 20% of the school
counselor's time spent working during student contact days.
(2) Administrative activities provided by a school
counselor in collaboration with other school personnel
include:
(i) Coordinating State assessments, cognitive
achievement assessments, advanced placement programs and
language acquisition testing programs.
(ii) Developing master schedules.
(iii) Coordinating the following:
(A) Teams that are convened under 29 U.S.C. §
794.
(B) Response to Intervention (RTI) teams.
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(C) English language learner programs.
(D) Parental involvement or family engagement
programs.
(E) Positive behavioral intervention support
programs.
(F) Advanced placement and gifted and talented
programs.
(G) Data entry.
(iv) Monitoring students in common areas, such as
the cafeteria, a hallway, the playground or bus lines.
Section 1304-F. Monitoring and support.
(a) Posting of plan.-- Each school entity shall be
responsible for posting its plan on the school entity's publicly
accessible Internet website or, in the alternative, on the
publicly accessible Internet website of the school entity's
school district, under the category of State-required
information.
(b) Oversight.--Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year,
the department shall monitor each school entity to ensure
implementation and compliance with this article.
(c) Departmental duties.--The department shall:
(1) Employ at least one individual who is certified as a
school counselor.
(2) Provide a multilevel system of support to school
entities to assist in complying with this article.
(3) Provide guidance and technical assistance to school
entities to support equitable access to school counseling
services.
ARTICLE XIII-F
SCHOOL COUNSELING SERVICES
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Section 1301-F. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
" Administrative activities." Activities that are not
directly related to the plan and that are absent of any direct
student services or interaction.
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Direct services." As follows:
(1) Services that are provided through face-to-face
contact with students.
(2) The term includes the following:
(i) Classroom instruction.
(ii) Individual and group counseling for students.
(iii) Responsive services on behalf of a student
whose academic or career development is at risk.
Responsive services include the administration of a risk-
assessment.
(iv) Interventions for a student who is:
(A) at risk of dropping out of school; or
(B) exhibiting dangerous behaviors, such as drug
use, self-harm or gang activity.
"Indirect services." Consultations among a student, a parent
or legal guardian of the student, school staff and community
agencies concerning the student's academic or career needs.
"Plan." The school counseling plan under section 1302-F.
"School entity." Any of the following:
(1) A school district of any class.
(2) An intermediate unit as described in Article IX-A.
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(3) A charter school as defined in section 1703-A.
(4) A cyber charter school as defined in section 1703-A.
(5) A regional charter school as defined in section
1703-A.
(6) An area career and technical school as described in
section 1841.
Section 1302-F. School counseling plan.
(a) Authorization and purpose.--A school entity shall
develop and implement a written school counseling plan that
ensures that student services are coordinated in a manner that
provides academic or career developmental support to all
students of the school entity.
(b) Requirements generally.--A plan shall:
(1) Be implemented by a Pennsylvania-certified school
counselor.
(2) Utilize nationally recognized and State-recognized
counselor frameworks, which may not include medical guidance,
social and emotional learning, critical race theory or
behavioral health.
(3) Be reviewed annually and updated as needed by the
school counselor, in collaboration with the affected building
principal and other stakeholders, including parents or legal
guardians of enrolled students.
(4) Be systemically aligned to kindergarten through
grade 12 within the school entity.
(c) Components.--A plan shall contain the following:
(1) A foundation component that includes:
(i) A vision statement.
(ii) A mission statement.
(iii) Plan goals.
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(2) A management component that utilizes assessments and
other data to develop, implement and evaluate the plan.
(3) A delivery component that focuses on direct services
and indirect services through the implementation of the plan.
(4) An accountability component that ensures regular
analysis of the plan.
(d) Contents.--A plan shall:
(1) Guide students in academic pursuits and career
planning.
(2) Follow the school counseling plan guidance provided
by the department that is limited to academic pursuits and
career planning.
Section 1303-F. School counselor use of time.
(a) General requirement.--A school entity shall allot
sufficient time for the school entity's counselor to carry out
the duties stated in the school entity's plan.
(b) Direct and indirect services.--Direct services and
indirect services may be provided in collaboration with other
school personnel, parents or legal guardians, as provided herein
or otherwise deemed appropriate, and include:
(1) Providing academic advisement services, including:
(i) Developing an individual planning system to
guide a student to access and monitor the student's own
academic and career progress.
(ii) Guiding a student along the pathways to
graduation.
(iii) Guiding a student in goal-setting and course
selection aligned with the student's post-secondary
goals, including college education, trade and industrial
education and military service.
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(iv) Addressing accelerated learning opportunities.
(v) Addressing academic deficits and the
accessibility of resources.
(vi) Providing student assessment reviews, interest
inventories or academic results needed to develop, review
and revise a student's plan of study.
(vii) Providing support for students who show
potential so they are more likely to engage in rigorous
coursework and take advantage of post-secondary
opportunities.
(2) Providing a career planning process, including:
(i) Guidance in understanding the relationship
between classroom performance and success in school and
beyond.
(ii) The provision of resources to identify career
interests and aptitudes to assist a student in age-
appropriate college and career planning, including trade
and industrial education and military service.
(iii) Guidance in understanding the advantages of
completing career certifications, Junior Reserve
Officers' Training Corps, apprenticeships and
internships.
(iv) Interpretation of augmented, criterion-
referenced or norm-referenced assessments for students
and parents or guardians of students.
(v) The provision of information to a parent or
legal guardian of a student, such as through workshops on
preparing for college, a trade, military service,
financial aid and career opportunities.
(vi) Encouragement to a parent or legal guardian of
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a student to support partnerships in the student's
learning and career planning processes.
(3) Providing skills designed to:
(i) Address bullying, including:
(A) Training programs for school employees
regarding how to recognize bullying behaviors.
(B) Protocols for responding to bullying that is
occurring in the school entity.
(C) Strategies that support a student who is
being bullied.
(D) Protocols for immediate parental or legal
guardian inclusion when responding to all bullying
activity, including initial and subsequent
interactions with students. Anti-bullying materials
must be shared with parents or legal guardians in
advance of being shared with students.
(ii) Address suicide through:
(A) Strategies that help identify a student who
is at risk for suicide. Parents or legal guardians
must be immediately notified if their student is
considered at risk for suicide.
(B) Strategies and protocols that help a student
who is at risk for suicide, including parental or
legal guardian involvement, absent good cause shown
as to why the parent or legal guardian should not be
involved. If a parent or legal guardian is not
involved, the school entity must obtain a court order
to that effect.
(C) Protocols for responding to a suicide death.
(4) Intervening with students who are at risk of
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dropping out of school to determine if there is a way to keep
the students in school.
(5) Providing orientation programs for new students and
transferring students at each level of education.
(6) Serving as a contributing member of decision-making
teams and programs, which include:
(i) Teams that are convened under section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112, 29 U.S.C.
§ 701 et seq.).
(ii) Multitiered System of Supports (MTSS) or
Response to Intervention (RTI) teams.
(iii) English language learner programs.
(iv) Parental or legal guardian involvement or
family engagement programs.
(v) Advanced placement and gifted and talented
programs.
(c) Administrative activities.--Administrative activities
provided by a school counselor in collaboration with other
school personnel include:
(1) Coordinating State assessments, cognitive
achievement assessments, advanced placement programs and
language acquisition testing programs.
(2) Developing master schedules.
(3) Coordinating the following:
(i) Teams that are convened under section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
(ii) Response to Intervention (RTI) teams.
(iii) English language learner programs.
(iv) Parental or legal guardian involvement or
family engagement programs.
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(v) Advanced placement and gifted and talented
programs.
(vi) Data entry.
(4) Monitoring students in common areas, such as the
cafeteria, a hallway, the playground or bus lines.
Section 1304-F. Posting the school counseling plan.
A school entity shall post its school counseling plan on the
school entity's publicly accessible Internet website or, in the
alternative, on the publicly accessible Internet website of the
school entity's school district, under the category of State-
required information.
Section 1305-F. Parental Notification and Private Right of
Action.
(a) Policy.--The governing body of a school entity in the
Commonwealth shall adopt a policy concerning school guidance and
counseling programs in the schools under its jurisdiction. At a
minimum, the policy shall contain the following:
(1) A provision for written notification, at least
annually or more frequently if required in the policy, to
parents or legal guardians about the academic and career
guidance programs that are available to their children. The
notification shall include the purpose and general
description of the programs, information regarding ways
parents or legal guardians may review materials to be used in
guidance and counseling programs at their child's school and
information about the procedures by which parents or legal
guardians may limit their child's participation in the
programs. If social or emotional programs are available or
provided, parents or legal guardians must be provided notice
of the programs and the associated materials at least two
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weeks prior to student engagement with the program.
(2) A provision prohibiting the use of counseling
techniques that are beyond the scope of the professional
certification or training of school counselors, including
counseling techniques that are normally employed in medical
or clinical settings and focus on mental illness, behavioral
health or psychopathology.
(3) A provision requiring that information and records
of social and emotional counseling be kept confidential and
separate from a student's educational records and not
disclosed to third parties without prior parental consent or
as otherwise provided by law.
(4) A provision with respect to social and emotional
counseling stating the procedures by which parents or legal
guardians can elect in writing to have their child opt in to
the counseling. In no event shall a governing body require
affirmative parental consent for one-time counseling that is
needed to maintain order, discipline or prevent immediate
harm to a student. Parents or legal guardians must be present
at all times that a student is counseled in the context of
social and emotional learning or counseling.
(5) A provision that provides for the meaningful
inclusion of a parent or legal guardian when a student
receives direct or indirect services from a school counselor.
(b) Private right of action.--If a parent or legal guardian
of a student reasonably believes that the parent or legal
guardian has been denied meaningful involvement in counseling or
access to the student when receiving direct or indirect services
from a school counselor without good cause, the parent or legal
guardian shall have a private right of action against the
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governing body of the school entity.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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