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BALTIMORE (AP) — The number of counselors in the Baltimore City school system has steeply declined, even as national attention focuses on student mental health in the wake of school shootings.

The Baltimore Sun reports the district has seen a 30 percent drop since three years ago, with a current count of 84 counselors. The American School Counselor Association recommends a student-to-counselor ratio of 250 to 1; Baltimore’s is 900 to 1.

District spokeswoman Edie House-Foster attributes the decline to fewer students, fewer schools and rising costs. A budget shortfall last year led to more than 100 layoffs, including 21 counselors and librarians.

House-Foster says the district works with outside groups to cover some gaps.

This week, Gov. Larry Hogan pledged $50 million annually to pay for school resource officers, counselors and technology.


Information from: The Baltimore Sun,