Comanche schools to receive grant money for counselors

June 30, 2021

To help Oklahoma schools meet the needs of children in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is awarding grants to 181 school districts, including Comanche, across the state to hire school counselors and school-based mental health professionals. OSDE is using $35.7 million in federal relief to fund the grant program called the Oklahoma School Counselor Corps.

“Schools have wrestled with inadequate numbers of counselors and mental health professionals for far too long,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “Oklahoma children suffer from a higher rate of trauma than children in most other states, and the pandemic has only exacerbated such adversity. These grants can bring transformational change to schools, some of which have not had a single school counselor. With academic success dependent on student well-being, this marks a critical investment for our students.”

Comanche is receiving $126,000 through the grant. It is the only school district in Stephens County to be receiving the grant.

Oklahoma’s current student-to-school counselor ratio is 411-to-1, but the American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of 250-to-1.

Districts applied for Oklahoma School Counselor Corps grants to fund approximately 50% of the cost of the salary and benefits of qualified positions. In the application, districts were able to specify exact needs for school counselors, licensed school-based mental health professionals, social workers, recreational therapists and/or contract for eligible positions or services. The grant will fund the positions for three years or through the 2023-24 school year.

Schools have requested 222 school counselors, 36 licensed social workers, 54 licensed mental health professionals, four recreational therapists and 42 contracted services. The OSDE will hire five regional positions to support the Oklahoma School Counselor Corps with training and professional development. 



Comanche Times
United for Oklahoma - September