May 25, 2023

With thousands of school counselors as part of our association, we at the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) are concerned about Texas Senate Bill 763.

The bill allows public schools to employ unlicensed chaplains or have them as volunteers to address behavioral and social/emotional needs that should be managed by trained and credentialed school counselors.

Students deserve to be supported in school by trained professionals who understand how to address a variety of needs from students of all backgrounds, which is why school counselors in Texas must have a master’s degree and experience as classroom teachers. Allowing districts to invest in unlicensed chaplains without educational credentials or experience is a short-term fix to a larger problem — a lack of qualified school counselors.

Texas should instead invest in increasing the counselor pipeline and providing schools the resources needed to focus on increasing the staffing and availability of school counselors to support students, coordinate the resources and interventions available through public schools, and assist students with being prepared for college and career beyond their education.