Success Story: Employer Payment of State Licensure and Professional Organization Fees

Peggy Flach, SLP
Bethalto School District, Illinois

What did you do?

We requested employer payment of both Illinois Department of Professional Regulation fees ($100 every 2 years) and ASHA annual fees ($200).

What were your greatest challenges?

Attaining information concerning Medicaid billing, professional SLP qualifications and billing/reimbursement rates.

Providing a clear explanation of our credentials and fees to non-SLPs in order to compare similarities and differences between highest teacher and optimal SLP certifications.

What was the outcome of your effort?

Beginning in 2005 the Bethalto Unit #8 school district in Bethalto, Illinois sponsored payment of both ASHA fees and Illinois licensure renewal fees for the 5 full time SLPs.

What advice would you give others?

Become knowledgeable about the funding sources that offset your salary as well as the ways that SLPs influence revenue. Anticipate questions from the perspective of school administrators and teachers. In an attempt to make sense of the information, the domains and fiscal negotiation options; I offer The Banana Tree Analogy...

#1 Plant the tree

Be visible.

  • Have a representative active in the teacher union
  • Offer informational presentations to the school board

#2 Watch the tree grow

Keep doing #1 for awhile. Be patient.

#3 Shake the tree your administration

  • Do they promote highest credentialing of employees?
  • Do you hear the terms "highly qualified" and "Master Teacher"
  • Start using those same terms to describe your credentials. A CCC-SLP is "nationally board certified". your Medicaid intermediary

  • What SLP credentials are needed for optimum independent revenue? (no co-signing)
  • How much revenue is generated by the SLP(s)?

#4 Pick a banana and take a bite

Take on the smaller goal.

Ask for reimbursement/payment of credentialing fees in the light that SLP certifications provide eligibility in programs that bring in revenue .

#5 Take the whole banana

Go for total parity: fees + stipend

Promote SLP parity concerning Master Teacher equivalency stipends. "Master SLP" aptly describes the CCC via common vocabulary. Explore the ASHA website for success stories and research back issues of The Leader to bring precedents to light.

#6 Make banana bread

Spread the word

Take a professional and personal risk: communicate your successes and failures with your local, regional, state and national colleagues. Indeed, one day you might look in the banana tree and see...

#7 100 Monkeys

A shift

If you are unfamiliar with this story, go to The 100th Monkey. Here is the gist. At a certain point enough SLPs will have succeeded in moving to drive larger geographic changes. First one SLP...then a district...then a co-op/region...then a state...then a nation.

Precedents have already been set with local and statewide changes enacted.

If you look closely you can see that, indeed, that banana tree is getting a wee bit crowded!

Best of luck,

Peg Flach

ASHA Corporate Partners