NCSP in School Board Policies

Some local school boards have elected to award stipends to school psychologists holding the National Certification in School Psychology (NCSP).  This is an effective method for getting the stipends in place and is generally easier and less intrusive than trying to get legislation introduced and passed. The passage of board policies is more likely to be supported where:

  1. A shortage of school psychologists is documented resulting in the need for recruitment and retention incentives.
  2. Teachers and administrators are awarded a stipend for earning National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification.
  3. A healthy competition between school districts exists and at least one area school district is already offering NCSPs a stipend.
  4. A good relationship exists between school district bargaining entities (i.e. union) and school mental health professionals.
  5. School mental health professionals are serving on district-level committees where the benefits of their qualifications and services are well known in school-administrator circles.
  6. School mental health professionals are regularly represented by a central administration leader (i.e. Director of Mental Health Services) who actively promotes mental health services for students and the need for competent service providers.
  7. School mental health professionals have specific data supporting the cost-benefit of their services within the context of the learning mission of schools.

An example of a school board policy awarding stipends to school psychologists holding the NCSP is detailed below:

Contract between the Education Association and the Board of Education of Charles County (MD), FY 2006-2007

A. For Fiscal Year FY 2006, all personnel in Unit I will be advanced one step each year on their appropriate salary scales according to their experience as identified in the assignment sheets issued coincident with the implementation of this contract.

B. An approved doctorate would earn the holder $2,500 more per year than a Masters +30. Employees who successfully complete the voluntary National Teacher Board Certification process will be paid $2,500 in addition to their regular annual salary. Speech and Language Therapists and Audiologists who earn their National Certificate of Clinical Competency (CCC) will have $1,000 added to their regular salary. School Psychologists who earn the National Certification issued by the National Association of School Psychologists (NCSP) will receive an extra $1000 in addition to their regular salary.