Welcome to the NJASP Government and Professional Relations Committee Advocacy webpage.
It is our goal to provide comprehensive information regarding Federal and State legislative information that will assist in advocacy efforts for children and family.
GPR Q & A
Q: "So if some accountability measures are rolled back, what does that mean for NJ"?
A: New Jersey's proposed ESSA State Plan policies are going forward as planned with final plan submitted to USDOE April 3. The NJ plan describes how the states will identify schools in need of support and report on school performance.
School Psychologists are mentioned prominently in the NJ regulations and guidance just as we are mentioned in the federal statutes. We will continue to advocate for our "practice model" role at the state and local levels.
Although the changes in the accountability portions of the law are unlikely to impact implementation in NJ, NJASP GPR will keep you updated about any other DOE potential changes that might be detrimental to public school children overall and particularly to children with disabilities.
We are School Psychologists -
Advocacy in Action
On August 2, the State Board of Education unanimously approved the adoption of a resolution recommending school districts implement the New Jersey Social and Emotional Learning Competencies. These skills would be implemented across all grade levels, and facilitate the development of safe and supportive schools. John Lestino, chairperson of the NJASP Professional Development Committee, and myself, attended this meeting. NJASP pleased to participate in the Social Emotional Learning workgroup, which included NJASP Executive Board members Debbie Keeney, co-chair of our Government and Professional Relations Committee, and Dale Starcher, co-chair of the Professional Development Committee. The highlight of the meeting was a presentation by Dr. Maurice Elias of Rutgers University, whose presentation included addressing questions and concerns of State Board of Education members. A debt of gratitude also goes to NJDOE officials Peggy McDonald, Acting Assistant Commissioner for Learning Supports and Specialized Services, Nancy Curry, Director of the Office of Student Support Services, and Kelly Allen, Manager of the Office of Student Support Services, for their leadership in this effort. As soon as the final version of the competencies is posted, we will make them available to you.
However, there is still much to do in terms of implementing these competencies at the district level. School psychologists are ideally positioned to take a leadership role in this effort, and to advocate for its implementation in our schools. It’s particularly important given the significant impact these competencies can have on the social, emotional, behavioral, and academic success of all students.
Chairperson - NJASP Government and Professional Relations Committee
New Jersey schools also rely on #medicaid to provide essential services for children with disabilities and behavioral and mental health concerns. Without Medicaid, many students will not get what they need and will other cuts be made to make up for the short fall?
The proposed health care plan has far reaching impact on the most vulnerable - those students that school psychologists serve. #Advocate
Important Information about ESSA and School Psychology
The New Jersey Department of Education offered the opportunity for the public to provide input on the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), as New Jersey develops it's ESSA state implementation plan. Throughout September the New Jersey Department of Education held several ‘Public Listening Sessions’ on implementation of the federal ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ (ESSA). School psychologists were well represented and provided public and written testimony to the NJDOE.
Currently, school psychologists are represented on "follow up" NJDOE ESSA focus groups. We will continue to advocate for children, families and our profession as our state plans implementation of ESSA. Given current uncertainty regarding direction at the federal level following the election, the pending appointment of a new Secretary of Education, and increased power given to states, it is even more critical that Trenton hears your voice!
Why is this so important? Click here: Why is this so important.docx
More NASP ESSA Implementation Resources
Although the public listening sessions presented by the NJDOE have already taken place, you may have a future opportunity to advocate in other settings (perhaps at a local board of education meeting). NJASP is providing guidance for you if you are unsure how this process works or what to include in your testimony. Click here for additional information, talking points, and a template. ESSA Talking Points.docx
More info re: ESSA here Great News for School Psychologists
Click here to link to information re: ESSA public testimony call to action ESSA public testimony.9.14.16.docx
The “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA), a federal law recently passed, will go into effect very soon. This law gives states more power as to how they spend their money; this flexibility offers unprecedented opportunities for schools and practitioners.
What is exciting is that this new law specifically mentions school psychologists as part of “specialized instructional support personnel” as well as, “school-based mental health service providers.” ESSA recognizes the need to provide comprehensive school psychological services to all students.
ESSA provides a clear pathway for school psychologists to go beyond their responsibilities as members of the Child Study Team and fulfill their roles as providers of comprehensive services throughout the school.
The New Jersey Association of School Psychologists (NJASP) serves and supports school psychologists across the state. NJASP will work closely with NJDOE in how ESSA is implemented.
We need your help. We are looking for input and ideas on how ESSA can empower you as a practitioner and improve your school. Please click here for more information ESSA and School Psychology.Final.pdf and an opportunity to provide your input either via email or use the discussion forum.
Click here for link to ESSA information ESSA and School Psychology (2).pdf