Policy Matters Blog

NASP Releases Federal Policy Platform for the 117th Congress and Incoming Biden Administration

NASP Releases Federal Policy Platform for the 117th Congress and Incoming Biden Administration 

As we prepare for a new Congress and Presidential administration, the NASP Government and Professional Relations Committee (GPR) is proud to announce the release of the new NASP Public Policy and Legislative Platform. This platform contains policy goals and recommendations that promote equitable access to high-quality public education that is safe, supportive, and welcoming for all students. Incorporating guiding principles found in Ready to Learn, Empowered to Teach, strategic goals, and position statements, NASP’s policy platform is a comprehensive, if not exhaustive, guiding document for advocacy work in the 117th Congress. Although the policy platform is specific to federal policy, state school psychology associations are encouraged to adapt these priorities to fit the specific advocacy and policy goals of their states and local districts. You can read NASP’s policy platform here, but you can find key highlights below.  

Policy objectives addressing school psychology shortages 

  • Ensure Congress, the Department of Education, and other relevant agencies prioritize efforts to recruit and retain school psychologists that reflect the diversity of student populations. 
  • Preserve and increase funding for loan forgiveness and grant programs that support school psychology students and professionals, such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and the School-Based Mental Health Services Grant Program.  

Policy objectives that ensure equitable outcomes for all students 

  • Provide culturally responsive learning experiences for all students by ensuring equitable access to quality education instruction, interventions, resources, and school-based mental health supports. 
  • Oppose and resolve systems that discriminate against students on any dimension of difference, and oppose using public money to fund schools that lack public accountability.  

Policy objectives that ensure schools are safe and supportive environments, including when responding to crises 

  • Extend antidiscrimination and harassment protections to include gender or perceived gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, including through reinstatement of the 2016 Guidance regarding Title IX and Civil Rights protections for transgender students.  
  • Promote school safety, threat assessment, and discipline policy and practice that emphasize both physical and psychological safety and protect the civil rights of all students.  

Policy objectives that improve outcomes for students with disabilities 

  • Ensure that any attempts to improve student outcomes include evidence-based methods for the identification of students with disabilities and the delivery of interventions and supports.  
  • Support investments in training, planning, and ongoing professional development of all educators in the use of necessary interventions and supports for students with disabilities. 

Policy objectives that increase access to comprehensive mental and behavioral health services and comprehensive learning supports provided within an integrated service delivery system (e.g., MTSS) 

  • Advance legislation that increases access to comprehensive school and community mental health services and that reduces disparities in mental health service delivery, especially among underserved populations. 
  • Ensure that school psychologists are explicitly recognized as qualified providers of mental and behavioral health in statutes and regulations related to school-based mental health services.  
  • Promote efforts that facilitate a leadership pipeline for school psychologists to provide professional development, consultation, and guidance around MTSS implementation.  

The start of a new Congress and Presidential administration promises exciting opportunities for advocates to make an impactI encourage you to read through NASP’s policy platform and share your support with your elected leaders. School psychologists can find tips, advice, and best practices for legislative and professional advocacy in NASP’s Policy Playbook. For more information on effective advocacy, check out additional NASP resources here