March 2019 State Council Report
At the last council, Corey Penrose carried forwards these new buisness items regarding speech language pathologists.
NBI 1/19-1 – The Committee moves to take immediate action and refer NBI 1/19-1 to the CTA Executive Officers.
NBI 1/19-1: Sponsor legislation to remove a moratorium on state sanctions for SLP services.
Rationale: This NBI is attempting to address issues surrounding make-up time for speech therapy services required in student IEPs. Many SLPs are required by their District to make-up therapy services they miss because of absence. Because of the current shortage of speech and language pathologists, many districts are forced to contract with private vendors for therapy services.
In January 2016, the Federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), US Department of Education, reaffirmed its 2007 guidance letter (see attached memo) regarding missed IEP services in school settings. OSEP reiterated that the determination of whether an interruption of services constitutes a denial of free appropriate public education (FAPE) is an individual determination that must be made on a case-by-case basis. Whether the disruption in service is caused by a class activity (e.g. school assembly) or absence by the student or therapist, the IEP determines whether the services must be made up.
The SPS Committee encourages locals to negotiate contractual language addressing issues affecting members who provide Designated Instruction and Services (DIS) under IEPs. Issues include limits on non-voluntary work assigned beyond the regular workday and work year, compensation therapy provided beyond the regular workday and work year, per hour and per diem compensation for make-up sessions which SLPs voluntarily consent to provide. It is recommended that CTA disseminate sample contract language needed to protect SLP unit members.
NBI 1/19-2 – SPS disapproves NB#1/19-2 because a student’s IEP dictates the frequency of a related service and amount of time in each session. The district needs to be held accountable to ensure they have enough SLP’s to provide such services in a timely manner.
NBI 1/19-2: Extend the weekly time frame for SLP services to a more manageable time frame (like twice a month or monthly).
Rationale: Federal law says that the frequency of a related service and the amount of time in each therapy session must be individually determined based on the child’s needs at the IEP team meeting. Frequency and amount of time must be written in the IEP. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(IV); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.320(a)(7); 5 C.C.R. Sec. 3051(a)(2); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56345(a)(7).] The IEP team determines the frequency of services based on the specific needs of the student.
The SPS Policy Sub Committee will take steps to address the issues raised in NBI# 1/19-1 & 2. They have written and will distribute a survey regarding SLP caseload.
If you have an issue you’d like to carried forwards, please contact Corey Penrose, Alyson Brauning or Melissa Phillips.
We also elected the following people to the Executive Officers:
President – E Toby Boyd
Vice-President – David Goldberg
Secretary-Treasurer – Leslie Littleman