Advocacy:
Legislative Update

Posted: December 10, 2015

House Passes No Child Left Behind Replacement Bill

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives considered and passed a conference report, S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act, by a margin of 369 to 64. This bill rolls back the federal role in elementary and secondary education, eliminates the adequate yearly progress construct, removes the federal highly qualified teacher definition, and consolidates over 40 programs into a new local block grant program.

The U.S. Senate is expected to consider and pass the conference report next week before sending the bill to President Obama for his signature into law.

Background
ASHA's four key policy concepts were incorporated into S. 1177.

  1. Add additional flexibility to ESEA by expanding "early intervening services" in the law.
  2. Preserve a federal role in literacy that includes school-based audiologists and speech-language pathologists.
  3. Increase professional development opportunities for ASHA's school-based members.
  4. Adopt the new term, "specialized instructional support personnel", in lieu of the antiquated, "pupil services personnel". 

ASHA staff will analyze the final bill and will be providing additional details in the near future.

Resources

For more information, please contact Neil Snyder, ASHA's director of federal advocacy, at nsnyder@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5614.

 

Posted: June 24, 2014

Urge New Jersey Senate To Pass Moratorium 

Dear New Jersey Friends and Advocates,

Prepare to be outraged. 

THERE HAS BEEN A MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE LAST 24 HOURS THAT REQUIRES ONE FINAL ADVOCACY PUSH. 

Although A1110 PASSED the Assembly 62-10, we have hit a snag in the Senate. 

Instead of S2198, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted in support of S2249 which provides only for a moratorium on Return Home New Jersey (RHNJ) transfers. 

Developmental center residents are just as much at risk as RHNJ individuals. Their families are gravely disappointed at Senators who advanced only a partial solution, leaving their loved ones at risk. 

We have one final opportunity for this much needed moratorium on transfers to apply to both deserving populations - RHNJ and Developmental Centers:  

AMEND S2249 which may be posted TOMORROW (Thursday) for a vote.

Take action here.

This is our final chance. Stop what you are doing right now and click "submit." It's that easy. 

Sincerely,
Tamie Hopp
Voice of the Retarded (VOR)

 

Posted: November 25, 2013

Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee:
Licensure Update

As many of you may be aware, on September 19, 2013 the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee, the state's licensing board, altered the enforcement of the licensure regulation and this resulted in some recent licensure applicants being denied. In response to this sudden change, the NJSHA Board of Directors asked to speak at the Advisory Committee's November meeting.

Amanda Sargenti, a recent applicant who had been denied a license, Dr. Martin Shulman, NJSHA board member, Sue Goldman, NJSHA board member and Linda Tucker-Simpson, NJSHA President spoke at the public testimony portion of the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee meeting on November 21, 2013. After deliberation, the Advisory Committee members stated that in order to apply the regulation uniformly the language in the regulation needs to be modified and the current interpretation is being waived for applicants until a new provision is written for the regulation. They agreed to postpone their recently changed procedure until they complete the formal process necessary to modify the regulation.  This process will include time for public comment and NJSHA will provide testimony at that time to request that the longstanding policy be formalized in the new regulation. We also offered to serve as a resource to the Advisory Committee during that process. For now, at least, applicants for regular license, who completed their clinical internship in a school which is an exempt setting, should no longer be denied.

This is another example of the targeted, effective and timely advocacy efforts by NJSHA on behalf of its members and Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists across the state.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact NJSHA by emailing info@njsha.org

Reading Disabilities Legislative Bill
Prepared by Lynn Nowak, lobbyist

  • Governor Christie recently signed into law two bills, A3606/A3607 and A3608, strongly supported by NJSHA.  They are the result of the findings of the Reading Disabilities Task Force, in which NJSHA well-represented by member Karen Kimberlin.
  • A3606/A3607 mandates that the Department of Education provide professional development opportunities, related to reading disabilities, for educators. 
    SLSs are explicitly included in this new law.
  • A3608 directs the Department of Education to incorporate the International Dyslexia Association's definition of dyslexia in the State's special education regulations.
  • On behalf of NJSHA, Karen Kimberlin and our lobbyist, Lynn Nowak, testified in favor of these bills when they were heard by the Senate Education Committee on June 20, 2013.  Sponsored by Assemblyman Albano and Senator VanDrew (D-Cape May), they passed the Senate unanimously on June 27. 
  • Another bill in the package, A3605, which requires screening of students for dyslexia, is still awaiting consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  There has been some disagreement between advocates and educators regarding when the screening should take place.

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