By Grant Minix
Last spring, The Council of State Governments announced the selection of the National Association of School Psychologists for technical assistance on the development of an interstate compact for licensed school psychologists. The opportunity is a result of a cooperative agreement between CSG and the Department of Defense to develop interstate licensure mobility compacts.
The introduction of the school psychologist interstate compact will facilitate licensure mobility for the profession, which can improve access to services and care for school-age children. Schools are facing a national shortage of school psychologists. According to NASP, the recommended ratio of school psychologists to students is 1:500. However, the national ratio currently stands at 1:1,211. Some states are approaching ratios of 1:5,000. These shortages are especially evident in rural schools and historically underserved school districts.
The development of the school psychologist interstate compact also offers substantial benefits to military families by allowing for increased licensure portability for military spouse. Additionally, it increases portability for school psychologists providing care for military children which will increase continuity of care.
As part of the project kickoff, CSG and NASP hosted a compact kickoff meeting in August 2022. The meeting featured CSG, NASP and DOD officials outlining the need for increased licensure mobility for licensed school psychologists and the process to develop the compact. During this meeting, and as part of a larger stakeholder review and public comment process, participants were invited to ask questions regarding the project.
Following the kickoff meeting, CSG and NASP worked to identify individuals and organizations throughout the country to serve on the compact technical assistance group, including school psychologists, regulators, state legislators and individuals representing key organizations in education. The technical assistance group is tasked with providing recommendations on numerous aspects of the compact, such as state and licensee requirements to join the compact, the makeup of the compact commission and how to integrate telepractice into the compact, which all will be considered by the document writing team.
As of December 2022, CSG and NASP are in the process of assembling the document writing team and working with the technical assistance group to develop recommendations. In early 2023, the document writing team will meet write the model language for the school psychologist interstate compact. After an initial draft of the language is developed it will be shared with the technical assistance group and then released for public stakeholder review.
CSG, NASP and the working group will continue to work on the language until it is properly vetted and fully capable of meeting the needs of the profession and the public. Once the model compact language is finalized it will be released for state enactment. CSG anticipates the model language will be released for 2024 state legislative sessions. For more information on the school psychologist interstate compact, visit the compact web page or send an email to [email protected].