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Why cut vital services for students?
Last year the 16 School Coordinators in the district saw over 1500 students for supportive counseling or case-management services ("Budget Hangover," News). Sounds cost-effective to me.
The enrollment of students in Support Centers in 2011-12 was 5,136 students: 42.6 percent of the population of schools with Support Centers located in them. The teachers are not the main problem; it is the breakdown of the family. If that many students are gravitating to this support, why are we eliminating it?
I am not assuming we can fix the overall problem, but these support staff appear to be an important piece in providing some support to students in crisis and can make the difference in some students dropping out or staying in school.
As a therapist, when I work with an adolescent, I am repeatedly amazed at the level of support, education, and difference I can make in how they conduct their life. If home life is not good, the support center may be the ONLY place they can obtain support easily.
I do not work in the city schools, but it would seem that eliminating or greatly reducing these options for students is maladaptive.
LISA A. FOGEL
Fogel is a psychotherapist.