Between 11/14/18-11/21/18, click the link below to send the letter below directly to state legislators. Encourage them to support bills that are good for our students and help us do what we are trained to do!
All you have to do is put in your zip code and name! It’s so easy to advocate!
See the full letter, written by our Advocacy Committee, below.
Elizabeth Spann, ASPA President
Body of letter:
School Psychology Specialists, along with other school-employed mental health professionals, have unique training to support the mission of schools by delivering critical academic support, behavior interventions, and mental health services. Unfortunately, many School Psychology Specialists, despite extensive training, are limited in the services they can provide due to high student ratios and limited school funding.
Data released by the Arkansas State Psychology Association in 2015 documents the child to School Psychology Specialist ratio in Arkansas is 1:2,330 in the 34 districts who have this professional available in their district. This creates challenges for School Psychologists, districts and students, whom have limited resources to provide the comprehensive services that students' need. Information provided by the National Association of School Psychologists documents that "...approximately 80% of students who need mental health care do not receive it; of those who do, the majority access care in schools. Students are more likely to ask for help if services are available at school". (National Association of School Psychologists SPAW Virtual Hill Day State Resource Guide Addendum, 2018.)
As a result of these concerns, the Arkansas School Psychology Association is asking for your assistance to:-Support legislation that makes a long-term and sustained commitment to align School Psychology ratios with recommendations generated from national professional organizations to allow for the delivery of a full range of services. The recommended ratio of students to school counselor is 250:1; the recommended ratio for school psychologists is 500-700:1; and the recommended ratio for school social workers is 250:1.-Support policies that promote effective collaboration between school-employed and community mental health professionals.-Establish school community mental health partnerships that supplement, not replace, existing school-based services and foster collaboration between school and community mental health professionals.
Thank you for your service and support of our students.