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Advocacy News: Capitol Hill Recognizes National School Psychology Week and the Work of School Psychologists

November 11, 2009

In honor of National School Psychology Week, the NASP Government and Professional Relations (GPR) and Communications committees and NASP staff joined forces on a campaign to help elected officials on Capitol Hill learn about the positive contributions of school psychologists and how our services impact student mental health and learning. This advocacy campaign involved creating a federal resolution recognizing National School Psychology Awareness Week, soliciting bipartisan sponsors and co-sponsors in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in support of the resolution, and culminated in passage of the resolutions and the sponsoring of a bicameral, bipartisan Congressional briefing held in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, November 10, 2009. Here are some of the exciting facts supporting this advocacy campaign:

  • More than 100 face to face visits to federal elected officials were made by school psychologists (NASP staff, leaders, and members) requesting support for a resolution recognizing National School Psychology Week.
  • NASP GPR Committee activated the School Psychology Action Network in a grassroots campaign to state leaders to solicit support for the federal resolution.  Dozens of conference calls and emails directed at state SPAN contacts were initiated.
  • APA Division 16 (School Psychology) and NASP collaborated to solicit grassroots support for the National School Psychology Week Resolution by sending out legislative alerts and submitting “talking points” to the House Education and Labor Committee.
  • More than 3700 letters were sent through the NASP Advocacy Action Center asking for support of the resolution.
  • Two federal resolutions were introduced and passed through the House of Representatives and the Senate recognizing National School Psychology Week and the important contributions of school psychologists.
  • More than 2100 letters were sent through the NASP Advocacy Action Center inviting elected officials to attend the congressional briefing during National School Psychology Week.
  • More than 60 people including Capitol Hill staff and representatives from a variety of education and mental health organizations attended a congressional briefing entitled, “Positive School Climate, Student Wellness, and Improved Academic Outcomes: Bringing Out the Best in Students and Schools” on November 10, 2009, in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, Washington, DC.
  • Materials developed for the briefing included a summary of key briefing concepts, legislative priorities, and supporting research.

To review some of the key information about this advocacy effort including information about the resolutions and the briefing, click on the links below:

Overall, this was an amazing effort involving the leadership and advocacy of thousands of school psychologists. This was an exciting opportunity to bring attention not only to the role and services of school psychologists—but also to critically important issues related to our work such as the importance of positive school climates and student mental health and wellness. NASP sincerely thanks all who participated in this advocacy effort.