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Public Statements

More Than $21 Million Awarded to School Districts to Expand Counseling Programs

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The U.S. Department of Education today announced the award of more than $21.2 million to 60 recipients in 24 states across the country to establish or expand counseling programs. Grantees will use funds to support counseling programs in target elementary or secondary schools.

The new awards will specifically aid schools in hiring qualified mental-health professionals with the goal of expanding the range, availability, quantity and quality of counseling services. Parents of participating students will have input in the design and implementation of counseling services supported by these grants.

"School counselors are a vital resource for students and educators, and play a key role in creating safe and productive learning environments," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "These funds will help expand those services to help more students lead healthy, happy and successful lives."

Grantees will also use funds to help increase the number of available and qualified counselors based on a school's student population. Research shows that having adequate counseling services can help reduce the number of disciplinary referrals in schools, improve student attendance and academic performance and enhance development of social skills. Funds may also be used to support parental involvement, counselor and teacher professional development and collaboration with community-based organizations that provide mental health and other services to students.

Below is a list of the awards for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program. For more information about the program, log onto http://www2.ed.gov/programs/elseccounseling/index.html.

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