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Counselors Dispute Absence Rules

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A leadership conference of a group representing 3,200 guidance counselors and college-admissions officers nationwide has criticized efforts by states to use the school day solely for the purpose of instruction at the expense of college counseling.

According to Charles A. Marshall, executive director of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors, Texas has enacted--and other states are considering--proposals that limit student absences from class, including those for the purpose of visiting college counselors.

Under legislation enacted last summer, Texas students are permitted only 10 cuts per year and five per semester. Visits to doctors and guid-ance counselors are not counted as cuts, but visits with college-admissions personnel are not excused, according to John Lucas, an official with the Texas Education Agency.

"While the nacac supports the concept that the primary focus of the school day is teaching and learning, we believe that personal counseling and exchange of information between admissions professionals and college-bound students is vital and necessary," according to the nacac policy statement. "This counseling activity and exchange of information takes on an even greater importance as the transition process from secondary to postsecondary education becomes more and more complex."--sr

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