The New York Association of School Psychologists
5 EASY STEPS
to participate in
NYASP Virtual Lobby Day – Tuesday, May 10, 2016
1. Identify contact information for YOUR Senators and Assemblymembers
NYS Senators –
Go to http://www.nysenate.gov/senators. In top left corner, under “Find My Senator,” enter your address and zip code.
NYS Assemblymembers –
Go to http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/. In top left corner click on “search by address” under “Who is My Assemblymember?,” enter required information. Your representative will be identified. You must click on “click here” hyperlink, which will take you to the Assemblymember’s homepage. Click on “contact” tab along left column for contact information and online email form.
2. Call their office on the morning of Tuesday, May 10, 2016
On May 16, 2016, the NYASP Legislative Team will be engaging in legislative visits in Albany to carry the important message that “mental health matters” to ensure student achievement and adjustment in school and life. However, legislators often need to hear the message more than once to really listen. Therefore, in preparation for our meetings on May 16, we want to “inform” our representatives about the critical issues related to school psychology and the provision of services to children and youth. That is why your calls and emails on May 10, 2016 are critical!
● Call the office and say, “Good morning. My name is _________ and I am a (school psychologist, teacher, administrator, school board member, etc.) and am calling to let you know that mental health matters! If you could please let the Senator/Assemblymember know THAT AS A CONSITUENT I am requesting their support** for licensure of school psychologists (if calling the Assembly, identify Bill A420 sponsored by Assemblymember Rosenthal; if calling the Senate, identify bill S6587 sponsored by Senator Ortt). Licensure of school psychologists will benefit children, families, and school districts across NYS. Please ask the Assemblymember/Senator to contact (Assemblymember Rosenthal, if Assembly or Senator Ortt, if Senate) to indicate their support for the licensure of school psychologists. For your convenience, I can send an email with more details but please pass along my appreciation for the Senator’s/Assemblymember’s support of the children I work with every day.”
**Please note that the following legislators are already sponsors for the licensure bill. Please THANK them for their support!
Assembly Member Rosenthal Senator Ortt
Assembly Member Miller Senator Carlucci
Assembly Member Otis Senator Latimer
Assembly Member Skoufis Senator Ritchie
Assembly Member Brennan
Assembly Member Markey
Assembly Member Kaminsky
Assembly Member Stirpe
Assembly Member Cusick
Assembly Member Abinati
Assembly Member Jaffe
Assembly Member Benedetto
Assembly Member Braunstein
Assembly Member Ceretto
Assembly Member Duprey
Assembly Member Lalor
Assembly Member Lavine
Assembly Member Lupardo
Assembly Member Mayer
Assembly Member McDonough
Assembly Member Montesano
Assembly Member Skartados
Assembly Member Tenney
3. Go to Social Media
● Create a Status update, Tweet, or post a Pic of some aspect of your job (that doesn’t violate privacy) to let everyone know that you participated in NYASP Virtual Lobby Day. Be sure to tag your Senator and Assemblymember (e.g. @DeborahJGlick) and tag NYASP (@NYASP), along with one of the hashtag: #NYASP #MentalHealthMatters #SchPsy #Solutions
● Encourage your colleagues, friends, and loved ones to retweet or share the same. Let’s generate excitement about the work we do every day. Mental health matters and this is another way of destigmatizing the help that so many families need.
4. Send an email using a custom version of this Sample Letter
Dear Senator/Assemblymember (* enter name) –
As a constituent and (* enter your profession, affiliation or other relevant title), it is important for me to know that this legislative session, you will ACTIVELY support issues that are important to me. Please help me, by helping the children and families I work with every day.
Specifically, I need your commitment to support (or thank them for support if already a sponsor, see list above) the licensure of school psychologists (*choose bill A420 if writing to Assemblymember or S6587 if writing to Senate). This licensure would allow for highly trained professionals to practice “school psychology” without restriction of setting. This licensure is necessary to ensure that school psychologists will be able to provide services to preschool children currently threatened by regulatory limitations. In addition, this licensure is a necessary credential to help schools recoup over $100 MILLION dollars in Medicaid reimbursement for services provided to eligible children. This is money that our local schools can use to help lower our tax bills and pay for vital services. It is unacceptable that this bill has been stuck in the Higher Education Committee. I need your personal commitment to facilitate movement of this bill to a full vote by the Senate/Assembly (* choose one).
1 out of every 5 children is diagnosed with a mental health issue severe enough to interfere with their daily functioning. Yet very few of these kids get the appropriate treatment that they need. This leads to significant problems in both school and at home. Preschools and schools have become the de facto mental health providers for children. Over 40,000 children with disabilities receive preschool services and over 400,000 school-age children with disabilities receive services in schools every year in New York State. Due to all of these factors, it is important for me to know that you will work hard to protect the vital services provided by school psychologists and other education professionals.
(* Add a very brief example or personal story of services you provide, if appropriate)
Please contact me at your earliest convenience to let me know that you support these issues.
(* enter contact information)
5. Let us know how you did!!!
Feel free to post on the NYASP Facebook page, email or call us with stories of your success. Let’s celebrate together the work we do. Together we CAN do great things! Send comments, questions, feedback to email@example.com.
IF there is anything you can’t answer, thank the person for the question and tell them that you will find out after consulting with colleagues or by contacting the New York Association of School Psychologists http://www.nyasp.org/contact_us
General Tips for Speaking with Elected Officials or Legislative Aides
● When communicating with elected officials, focus your message on CHILDREN, not your own personal situation. Not that they don’t care about you or your job, but they tend to respond better when they do not perceive the message to be “self-serving.”
● You are likely to speak to a legislative aide, but that is good. They often inform the legislator about the issues.
● Tell a very short but poignant story about the work you do. These tend to leave a lasting impression and are easily repeated when the aide is informing the elected official about the nature of the call.
Specific Talking Points
(Circle a couple talking points that you wish to share or read directly from the list)
DID YOU KNOW?
● 20% of children are diagnosed with a mental health disorder severe enough to interfere with their daily life functioning.
● 75%-80% of these children do not receive the appropriate mental health services to address these problems.
● When children DO get help for mental health problems, the vast majority of services are provided in the school setting.
● Mental health problems impact a child’s ability to function in school, including academic achievement, performance on standardized testing, and social interactions with others.
● Over 40,000 preschool age children (ages 3-5) receive services in 4410 programs due to educational disabilities.
● Over 400,000 school age children (ages 5-21) receive services through special education programs due to educational disabilities.
● School districts have lost the ability to seek reimbursement for services provided by 75% of the school psychologists in NY to Medicaid eligible students. Special education administrators in NY have estimated that this represents $100 million in lost funding for these services.
● School psychologists are highly trained experts in child development, learning, and psychological factors that impact functioning in educational settings.
● The training and experiences of school psychologists is equal to or surpasses all of the current non-doctoral licensed mental health professions in NYS.
● Licensure of school psychologists will benefit children, families, and school districts across NYS.
● NYS Bill A420/S6587 provides for licensure of school psychologists to practice school psychology, regardless of the setting.