NYASP Virtual Lobby Day – Tuesday, May 7, 2019


The New York Association of School Psychologists asks for

5 EASY STEPS on 1 DAY that

We must ALL do to Advocate for Children

1.   Identify contact information for YOUR Senators and Assemblymembers

NYS Senators –
Go to https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator. Enter your address including zip code. Click on the link to open the Senator's page, and click on the "contact" button for email information.

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.   Mark your calendar & Call their office on TUESDAY, May 7, 2019

On May 6th, 2019, 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, as reinforcement for our meetings on May 6th, we want to remind 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 7, 2019 are critical!

●     Call the office and say, “Good morning.  My name is _________ and I am a (school psychologist, parent, 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 CONSTITUENT I am requesting their support** for licensure of school psychologists (if calling the Assembly, identify Bill A1182 sponsored by Assemblymember Rosenthal; if calling the Senate, identify BILL 4340 sponsored by Senator Carlucci).  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 Carlucci, 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 take note of the following legislators who are already sponsors for the licensure bill. Please THANK them for their support!

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: #NYASPLobbyDay19 #Pass A1182 #PassS4340 or

#SchoolPsychologists #HereToHelp #MentalHealthMatters

●     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 a follow-up 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 before this legislative session ends, you will ACTIVELY support issues that are important to me as a voter. Please help me, by helping the children and families I work with every day.  

Specifically, I am asking for  your commitment to support (or thank them for support if already a sponsor, see list above) the licensure of school psychologists (bill A1182 if writing to Assemblymember or bill S4340 if writing to Senator). This licensure would allow for highly trained professionals to practice “school psychology” without restriction of setting. One 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. While preschools and schools have become the de facto mental health providers for children, there remains a significant shortage of mental health providers in the community. The licensure of school psychologists will increase access to trained mental health providers, particularly in communities where access to these services is challenging or limited.

This licensure is also necessary to ensure that school psychologists will be able to provide services to over 40,000 preschool children currently threatened by regulatory limitations. In addition, this licensure is a necessary credential to help schools recoup well 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.

(* 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.   Congratulate yourself & 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 legislative@nyasp.org .

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.

●     ALWAYS be cordial and polite. You are a constituent asking for your legislator’s support for an important issue. Being rude or demanding does not reflect well on you or our profession.

Specific Talking Points

(Circle a couple talking points that you wish to share or read directly from the list)


●     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.

●     There is a severe shortage of mental health providers in the community

●     Mental health problems impact a child’s ability to function in school and home, 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 A1182/S4340 provides for licensure of school psychologists to practice school psychology, regardless of the setting.


For additional advocacy information and the availability of children's mental health services in New York State,

click here: Advocacy Resources and Talking Points for Lobby Day

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