NCSP Parity

Advocating for a Salary Stipend for Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSP)

In the face of personnel shortages, school psychologists are in a good position to advocate for salary incentives for school psychologists who meet the National Certification of School Psychologists (NCSP) standards for training and supervision. The process of awarding these stipends is referred to as NCSP parity. NCSP parity refers to the need for school psychologists holding national certification to be treated equally to teachers and administrators holding national certification. In most school districts in America, teachers and administrators holding national board certification are awarded stipends for this accomplishment; in contrast, most NCSP school psychologists are not receiving these awards. Several states and school districts have already succeeded in adopting legislation and school board policies that provide a salary incentive for school psychologists who earn their NCSP. These stipends (a) are viewed as good recruitment and retention tools; (b) promote the employment of highly qualified personnel; and (c) support the delivery of high quality mental health services for students and families. This stipend is typically equivalent to the stipend awarded to teachers and administrators who meet the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

Three primary benefits to states and schools that choose to offer stipends to school psychologists holding the NCSP include:

  1. Salary stipends for NCSPs attract more highly qualified school psychologist applicants at a time when a national shortage of school psychologists is being experienced and great competition exists for qualified personnel.

  2. Salary stipends demonstrate that the state or school district recognizes and acknowledges the importance of hiring school psychologists who meet nationally recognized standards for training and supervision.

  3. Salary stipends promote higher levels of knowledge and competency as NCSP school psychologists must engage in ongoing and meaningful continuing professional development to maintain their certification.

NASP has compiled the following resources to assist school psychologists seeking legislation and board policies awarding a stipend for NCSPs:

  • The Top 10 Advocacy Tips for Achieving NCSP Parity: This link connects you to some practical suggestions for getting started in the effort to achieve stipends for nationally certified school psychologists.

  • Table Comparing National Certification Standards Across School Professionals: This link connects you to a table that compares the national certification requirements for NCSPs and other related service professions to the certification requirements of teachers who meet the NBPTS and who commonly receive a salary stipend. This table will allow you to demonstrate that NCSP training standards meet and exceed the NBPTS.

  • NCSP State Statutes: This link includes suggestions for advocating for state laws supporting the awarding of stipends for NCSPs and an example of Louisiana’s statutory language.

  • NCSP in School Board Policies: This link includes suggestions for advocating for school board policies awarding stipends for NCSPs and an example of board policy language from Charles County School District in Maryland.

  • Example of NCSP Parity Advocacy Presentation: (Note: This presentation was customized for Indiana School Psychologists. Some of the contents of this PPT may be out of date. All material should be reviewed and revised for future use.)

  • School Psychology Credentialing Fact Sheet:This fact sheet describes the landscape of school psychology credentialing and promotes the importance of rigorous credentialing requirements to ensure effective service delivery.