Policy Matters Blog

Vision 2020 - Advocacy in Action at Convention

Last week, NASP held its annual convention in Baltimore, Maryland! Check out some of the advocacy highlights below.

Advocacy in Action

Our amazing school psychology advocates stepped it up during convention this year! After 967 advocates sent 4,655 letters last year, NASP's Advocacy Team set a goal of 1,500 individual advocates sending 6,000 letters. We are thrilled to report that, because of your commitment, we surpassed both of our goals - 1,686 advocates sent 8,823 letters to Congress.

We had advocates participate from every state - that means every single U.S. Senator heard from us - plus 391 of the 435 offices in the House of Representatives.

School psychologists sent letters to Congress advocating on the following issues: 

The issues we advocate for are fully detailed in our Federal Public Policy and Legislative Platform, which represents the overarching policy goals and recommendations that support the mission and vision of NASP.

Our Advocacy Action Center is loaded with advocacy opportunities year-round, where participants can edit template letters to send to their representatives in Congress. This service is also available for state associations to organize their members to send letters to state and local representatives!

GPR Awards

We also honored the GPR award winners, who were especially exceptional last year in their advocacy efforts. These award recipients are tireless advocates for children and families, and the contributions they have made to the profession of school psychology will have a long-lasting, positive impact and are sincerely appreciated. The award recipients were:

Special Friends of Children

  • Representative Valerie J. Longhurst (DE)
  • Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA)
  • Representative Jeni James Arndt (CO)

Outstanding Advocates

  • Terri Allen (NJ)

Certificate of Appreciation

  • Stephanie Patton (NV)

What's next?

There are many ways that you can stay connected with NASP's advocacy efforts this year at the federal, state and local level. Check out some specific actions you can take right now, below:

Attend the Public Policy Institute. If you are interested in further developing your advocacy skills, consider attending NASP's Public Policy Institute (PPI), held in Washington, DC. The PPI will span over 3 days from July 20-22nd, 2020. You can earn NASP and APA-approved CPD credit as well as graduate semester credit. This year's theme is Creating Equitable Access to School Mental Health Services. Scholarships are available for state associations and graduate students. Registration will open soon!  

Follow us on social media. Whenever we organize action on a piece of legislation, we will typically first post about it on social media. Be sure to follow @nasponline on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date, and like our page on Facebook. Your engagement on these issues is vital to making our advocacy efforts a success!

Bookmark our PolicyMatters Blog and Advocacy Action Center. NASP's advocacy team maintains the PolicyMatters blog with consistent, up-to-date information on its advocacy efforts, and the Advocacy Action Center will always have opportunities for action uploaded. Be sure to bookmark both websites, check them regularly, and consider contributing a blog post (contact Caden at cfabbi@naspweb.org if you are interested).

Get involved in state advocacy. Sometimes, the biggest difference you can make is at the state or local level! Many states are engaging in bold and exciting legislative initiatives in their 2020 legislative sessions. Ask your state association about opportunities to participate in local advocacy. Connect with your state association here.

Join our advocacy and public policy interest group. Continue the conversation in our NASP member exchange Advocacy and Public Policy interest group. Share policy happenings in your state, and ask for advice from colleagues across the country about how to approach a legislative initiative. The interest group is a message board designed to promote, discuss and support the advocacy efforts of school psychologists across the country. Join the interest group here.

We (and Gumby) look forward to seeing you at the 2021 convention in Salt Lake City, Utah!