State Recruitment Initiatives
State Loan Forgiveness Efforts
States are increasingly considering loan forgiveness or tuition reimbursement plans to attract qualified SLPs.
- Maryland passed legislation in 2005 that requires the state Higher Education Commission to award Economic Development Grants to eligible SLP applicants.
- Wyoming passed legislation in 2006 ensuring that SLPs and other health care providers would be eligible for loan repayment of up to $10,000 per year.
- Mississippi instituted the Speech-Language Pathologists Loan Forgiveness Program in 2012 to help SLPs who plan to work in a Mississippi school to be eligible for loans to acquire a master's degree in the profession.
- Texas passed legislation in 2013 to provide repayment assistance to SLPs and audiologists working in the schools.
See ASHA's Salary Supplement Legislative Success Chart [PDF] to learn more about the 11 states, and branches of the military, which currently offer a salary supplement for certified SLPs working in education settings.
Examples of State Recruitment Initiatives
The state of Connecticut provides incentives including a Teachers' Mortgage Assistance Program.
Many school divisions in Virginia offer financial incentives to recruit qualified SLPs to Virginia's public schools, including sign-on bonuses, tuition assistance, and loan forgiveness. Some local school districts offer payment of ASHA dues, recognition of CCC-SLP, payment for continuing education workshops and conferences, as well as relocation expenses and separate salary scales to attract SLPs. Contact Marie Ireland for more firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examples of State Association Initiatives
In Nevada, a Coalition on Addressing Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services was established by the Nevada State Speech-Language-Hearing Association, in conjunction with ASHA. The Coalition's goal is to begin and sustain a statewide discussion among representatives on the need for and value of recruiting and retaining highly qualified providers of special education, related services, and early intervention services to children throughout the state. The Coalition is comprised of approximately 50 stakeholders, including but not limited to representatives from the Nevada Legislature, Nevada Department of Education, Nevada State Board of Education, Nevada Board of Examiners, State Special Education Advisors, University Department Chairs, State Education Association, School District Administrators, school district personnel, parent groups, private practitioners, and state and national associations. The Coalition's "Get the Word Out" campaign focuses on recruiting middle school, high school, and college students into one of the seven identified professional areas in need of future employment in Nevada school districts and early intervention programs to meet their personnel demands in various special education positions.
ASHA's State Advocacy Team
ASHA's state advocacy team initiated a state outreach initiative to increase communication and collaboration between ASHA and recognized state speech-language-hearing associations. The team has divided the country into four regions; the northeast, south, central/midwest, and west. Assigned liaisons from the state advocacy team communicate regularly with state association leaders providing information, resources, and onsite support on legislative, regulatory, and state administrative issues. For more information contact Janet Deppe (email@example.com), ASHA's Director of State Advocacy.
The State Action Toolkit for Use by Qualified Personnel for Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Services provides an overview of the issue regarding qualified personnel, data to frame the issue, approaches to resolving the issue and additional resources.
School Funding Advocacy
The ASHA School Finance Committee developed information related to school funding advocacy in order to help members find tools they can use for funding and to help explain the complex and multiple funding processes involved in public school-based services from federal, state, and local perspectives.