Public Policy



TCA & Public Policy

The Texas Counseling Association is the voice for Texas professional counselors with the Texas Legislature, regulatory boards, and Congressional delegation.  Every aspect of professional counseling is impacted by public policy decisions. TCA's goal is to influence the laws, rules and policies to positively impact and increase access to professional counselors across Texas.


Public Policy Priorities

TCA's Public Policy is adopted by the TCA Board prior to each legislative session. The Texas Legislature meets biennially in odd-numbered years. Advocacy efforts begin in the interim (even-numbered years). In addition to TCA staff, TCA contracts with an external lobbyist to promote our public policy priorities. 

2023 TCA Public Policy Priorities:

  • Increasing access to professional counselors    
  • Improving student safety through mental health services    
  • Protecting high professional standards

TCA encourages and supports TCA members to advocate for professional counselors, clients, and students through weekly updates, timely action alerts, and by hosting 3 Advocacy Days each session. Interested in joining us for TCA Advocacy Days, sign up now!


Regulatory Engagement

TCA maintains strong and dynamic engagement with the boards and agencies that regulate professional counselors by attending their meetings and providing opportunities to exhibit and present programs at TCA Conferences. Proposed rules are carefully vetted by TCA. TCA's volunteer liaisons to the following agencies ensure that TCA is always at the table, engaged in conversation, and sharing with members action updates on the rules and regulations that will impact your work.

Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (TSBEPC) - KAngela Bulls

Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) - Teri Ann Sartor

State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) - Megan Guidry


Accomplishments

  • Reauthorized the behavioral health licensing boards and created the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) to house them in a stand-alone agency (HB 1501, 86th Legislature)

  • Included School Counselors in the mandatory educator compensation increases enacted by the 86th Legislature (HB 3)

  • Engaged more than 275 professional counselors in face-to-face advocacy at the Texas Capitol (86th Legislature)

  • Amended the Texas Education Code to require school counseling programs be based on the Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs (HB 18, 86th Legislature)

  • Expanded continuing education requirements for teachers, counselors and principals to include programs on the Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs (HB 18, 86th Legislature)

  • Updated and enhanced School Counselor Certification Standards in Texas (2017)

  • Published in partnership with the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs, 5th Edition (2018)

  • Modified the Texas Education Code to correctly and consistently refer to school counselors (83rd Legislature)

2023 Advocacy Days

Tuesday(s):

  • March 14
  • April 11
  • May 9

Register Now



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Public Policy News

Capitol Report: February 3, 2023

calendar-iconFeb 3 2023
The Senate Finance committee is meeting on Tuesday, February 7th, to hear testimony on the budget for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, w...

Capitol Report: January 27, 2023

calendar-iconJan 27 2023
The highlight of this past week at the Texas Capitol was the announcement of committee assignments in the Texas Senate.

Mental Health Professional Loan Repayment Program

calendar-iconJan 26 2023
The goal of the Mental Health Professional Loan Repayment Program is to provide an incentive for mental health professionals to work in areas that lac...

See all past Legislative News here.