PSC Discusses Critical Staffing Needs with State Superintendent Thurmond
Last week the Pupil Service Coalition (PSC) met with State Superintendent Tony Thurmond to detail California's 40-year practice of understaffing pupil service personnel working in California schools.Representatives from school counselors, school nursing, school psychology, school social work and California Teachers Association were present. Committee representatives raised concerns with Thurmond regarding the distressingly high ratios for pupil services staff in California. They indicated that California maintains some of the highest student to pupil service staff in the country. They also discussed the lack of staff at the California Department of Education dedicated solely to overseeing each profession. Thurmond committed his support to strengthening the numbers and asked for the PPS help in doing so. He also pledged to support the PSC committee's work by assigning a staff member from his office to attend the meetings and report committee work directly to him. This is a significant move, allowing the PSC to have a direct line of communication with the Superintendent.
The PSC was formed approximately 20 year ago. Representative from each organization meet monthly on behalf of the over 20,000 pupil service staff working in California schools (school counselors, school psychologist, school nurses and school social workers). Representing CASC are Marilyn Harryman from El Cerrito and Dr. Loretta Whitson, CASC Executive Director. Patty Taylor, CASC Assistant Executive Director is also a key member and is in attendance on behalf of the California Teachers Association. This committee demonstrates just one of the strategic activism efforts CASC participates in regularly. We are grateful that the PSC has been at the helm of advocating for issues important to the school counseling profession over the years.