Success Story: Connecting CCC to NBPTS for Annual Stipend
Genecile Weston, SLP
Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS), Maryland
What did you do?
The teachers in my district who obtained National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification were awarded a $1,000 per year stipend. I decided to ask human resources for a stipend for the SLPs in my district based on national certification (CCC) from ASHA.
Before approaching my administrator, I compiled information on salary supplements from ASHA and met with the local SLP group, which pledged its support. I also met with my supervisor and teachers union representative to obtain support. I drafted a letter supporting a salary supplement, which was signed by over 50 SLPs in my district, and sent it to our administrators. Our administration eventually agreed that our certification was comparable to NBPTS certification and awarded certified SLPs a $1,000 annual stipend.
What were your greatest challenges?
While the union representative and the SLP supervisor were supportive, other decision makers were unsure. Armed with our proposal and a lot of supportive documentation, we delivered a presentation to our district administrators and called other decision makers repeatedly until we were able to convince them to grant us a stipend. I think that they decided to grant our request once they realized that they needed to pay us more in order to retain highly qualified staff in our district.
What was the outcome of your effort?
Our district awarded certified SLPs the same annual stipend that NBPTS-certified teachers received. In the memorandum of agreement, the administration stated that the ASHA CCC was comparable to NBPTS certification. The $1,000 stipend was included in our contract during the subsequent negotiation.
Although it took 2 years to negotiate an annual bonus into our contract, it was worth it! SLPs currently working in our district are satisfied, and we are able to recruit highly qualified SLPs. Clinical Fellows remain in our district once they are certified. Our supervisor wrote an article for the local education newsletter praising our efforts, and we received a recognition award. Our school psychologists have now decided to work for a stipend for their members.