Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Bilingual Counselors In Demand in California Schools

Finding enough Spanish-speaking teachers can be challenging enough for school districts. So filling bilingual needs among the counseling ranks may be an expensive afterthought for school administrators.

However, bilingual counselors do help schools connect with students and immigrant parents.

New America Media recently reported on the need for more bilingual counselors in California schools.

School psychologist Esther Marquez, who works at Patriot High School in the Jurupa Unified School District, recalled how students often use Spanish when speaking with her. Four of the high school’s six counselors are Spanish speaking.

“It helps them connect,” she told the news outlet.

“Being Hispanic, students can identify with me,” she added. “Sometimes when they can’t find the right word, they know they can tell me in Spanish.”

A recent survey of 1,200 California voters by The California Endowment–a private statewide health foundation–found that 84 percent of respondents supported increasing the number of counselors in schools.

Do your schools have any Spanish-speaking counselors? If not, who assists when parents or students are not English proficient?