HBA-MSH S.B. 538 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 538 By: Lucio Public Education 5/6/2001 Committee Report (Amended) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law sets forth the primary responsibilities of public school counselors and outlines the developmental guidance and counseling programs they design. However, these statutory guidelines apply only to schools that receive funding from the state compensatory education allotment for school counseling programs. A Texas Education Agency report indicated that school counselors who are employed under these guidelines dealt with less administrative and clerical tasks unrelated to guidance and counseling and were able to focus more on counseling students, especially those students who are at risk. Senate Bill 538 requires the comptroller of public accounts to conduct a comprehensive statewide study of the duties public school counselors perform and report the findings to the legislature. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 538 requires the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller) to conduct a comprehensive statewide study of the duties public school counselors perform. In conducting the study, the bill requires the comptroller to include all public school counselors, determine the percentage of total employment time counselors spends in performing different duties, and determine the counselor-to-student ratio statewide and in each school district at the elementary, middle or junior high, and high school levels. The bill requires the comptroller to submit a report to the legislature no later than January 1, 2003 containing the findings and any recommendations resulting from the study. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS Committee Amendment No. 1 replaces the requirement that the comptroller of public accounts determine the percentage of total employment time public school counselors spend in performing provision of information concerning institutions of higher education with the provision of information concerning career awareness and postsecondary education.