More counselors, social workers in Kansas schools

In his monthly report to the State Board of Education, Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson said the high school graduation rate continues to rise and schools have made great strides in hiring more social workers and counselors.

Over the past two years, schools have added 132 counselors, an 11 percent increase, and 133 social workers, a 26 percent increase.

Meanwhile, since 2015, the high school graduation rate has increased to 87.5 percent from 85.7 percent, while subgroups have increased as well.

English Language learners increased to 82.6 percent from 77.2 percent; students who receive free or reduced lunch increased to 80.2 percent, from 77.5 percent and students with disabilities increased slightly to 77.9 percent from 77.2 percent.

“We are narrowing the gap,” Watson said.

He added that 1,600 more students are served by at-risk programs for four-year-olds. That is a 22 percent increase.

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