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In this research brief, we examine the ratios of support personnel (i.e., school counselors, psychologists, and social workers) to students in North Carolina, assess whether support personnel are equitably distributed to schools with greater student need, and track how support personnel resources have changed over time. These analyses are particularly relevant given the role of support personnel in helping schools meet the needs of the whole child.

We find that: (1) states and school districts need to account for level of effort when calculating support personnel ratios; (2) on average, North Carolina school districts concentrate support personnel in relatively high-need schools; and (3) over the course of the last decade, high-need schools have faced markedly sharper cuts in support personnel resources than schools with fewer economically-disadvantaged or under-represented minority students.

Kevin Bastian

Kevin Bastian is a Senior Research Associate at UNC-Chapel Hill and the Director of Research at the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina.

Thurston Domina

Thurston Domina is an associate professor of educational policy and sociology in the School of Education at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Patrick Akos

Patrick Akos is a professor in the School of Education at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is a former teacher and college and school counselor.