Legislation and Advocacy
AASPA gives school personnel administrators the information and resources they need to become influential advocates for their schools, staff and students. AASPA is excited to share that we have launched a new advocacy program for 2021-2022. This plan will establish a presence in Washington, DC for AASPA, building our coalition relationships, providing intelligence from the Hill to AASPA members. AASPA members will receive monthly Legislative Briefs and would have the opportunity to participate on our Legislative Committee. Below is a list of AASPA's Legislative Priorities for 2021-2022.
Student Debt Relief: Students are entering the teaching and education workforce saddled with significant debt. While some loan forgiveness programs exist for teachers and other education professionals, they are often limited, have difficulties meeting requirements, and are not as effective as they should be. Full student loan forgiveness, or even free tuition programs for teachers and education professionals would encourage more students to enter the field and help ease the financial burden on teachers who want to stay in the field but cannot afford to.
Special Education and Other Critical Shortage Area Funding: There needs to be a focus on programs that can increase the salaries of teachers in particular. While some funding is available to increase teacher salaries broadly, there is a need to loosen restrictions on how state education agencies can use funds in order to ensure that teachers are not left out. Fully funding of federal programs like the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language (ESL), Math, Science and Foreign Languages would help support teacher and other specific special area professionals.
Alternate Certification Programs: It is currently quite difficult for mid-career professionals looking to make a career change into education to do so without going back to a traditional college program. Developing, funding, and expanding alternate certification programs so that these individuals can become certified to work as teachers would help increase the number of teachers in the workforce.
Funding for Paraprofessionals in Classrooms: Paraprofessionals have the necessary skills to be successful in teaching and other specific shortage area roles in education. They would make excellent teachers, and many aspire to work as educators. However, there is no funding available to them to support their transition from a paraprofessional role into a teaching role, which is a serious barrier to entry.
Reciprocity: Teacher certification requirements vary from state to state, meaning that professionals who move across state lines may not be able to meet certification requirements in their new state. Enhanced reciprocity between states and funding to support teachers who need to meet additional requirements to be credentialed in a new state is needed.
AASPA committees are a driving force in the development of new programs and services for members and for school personnel administrators. Through collaboration and initiatives, these dedicated volunteers provide information crucial to advancing the profession of school personnel administrators.
By joining an the AASPA Legislative Committee you’re doing more than volunteering—you’re shaping the future of school HR administration. If you have questions about participating in any of these committees, please contact us.