Funding Answers for School-Based Members School-based practitioners have brought many funding questions to ASHA: How are funds appropriated in my district? Who makes the decisions about funding and when are those decisions made? What funding streams are available to support speech and hearing programs? How can I affect how the funds are used in my ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   September 01, 2005
Funding Answers for School-Based Members
Author Notes
  • Janet Deppe, is ASHA’s director, state education policy.
    Janet Deppe, is ASHA’s director, state education policy.×
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School-Based Settings / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   September 01, 2005
Funding Answers for School-Based Members
The ASHA Leader, September 2005, Vol. 10, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.10122005.4
The ASHA Leader, September 2005, Vol. 10, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.10122005.4
School-based practitioners have brought many funding questions to ASHA: How are funds appropriated in my district? Who makes the decisions about funding and when are those decisions made? What funding streams are available to support speech and hearing programs? How can I affect how the funds are used in my school district?
“These are the type of questions we’ve been hearing,” said Monica L. Ferguson, chair of ASHA’s new School Finance Committee. Created this year, the SFC is leading a comprehensive effort to address emerging and long-range issues related to school funding. The committee will help develop strategies and initiatives for state and local implementation to ensure appropriate coverage and reimbursement for school services.
ASHA members identify and access funds at the federal, state, and local levels. These procedures are complex, as rules vary from state to state and even from one school district to another. One of the SFC’s goal is to share successful outcomes by members who have secured funding for their districts. Those include the following:
  • In Pittsburgh, PA, SFC member Ellen Estomin successfully identified and accessed Medicaid funds in her school district. As a result, SLPs in the district enjoy a generous professional development allowance, have laptop computers, and have an adequate supply of current tests and therapy materials. Estomin reports that while she has very few vacancies, many qualified candidates are always in line to fill these positions.

  • In Fairport, NY, Fran Grady, an SLP supervisor with Monroe #1 BOCES, used the Medicaid funds generated by SLPs in one district to provide laptop computers and updated tests and materials. “This support strengthened the relationship with administration as they recognized the financial contribution of our contracted service to their district,” Grady said.

  • In Prince George’s County, MD, SLP supervisor Margaret Evans Joyce says that her success in negotiating that a portion of Medicaid monies be directed back to the speech-language pathology budget allows her to purchase all materials and resources that are needed every year. In each of these programs, revenues generated from Medicaid help bolster recruitment and retention efforts of qualified personnel.

Ferguson noted that school-based SLPs and audiologists are responsible for expending as much as 30% of IDEA funds. They generate approximately 75% of all Medicaid funds for school-age children.
“And yet most school-based practitioners have not been well-positioned to negotiate with their administrators for sufficient funding to improve service delivery by addressing issues such as workload and work conditions,” she said. “SLPs and audiologists need to have the IDEA and Medicaid monies they are generating funneled back into supporting the services they are providing to children.”
Ferguson said the SFC’s upcoming Web page will be available this fall on ASHA’s Web site. The committee will maintain a directory of current information and various resources to assist SLPs and audiologists to better understand complex school funding systems and to become effective negotiators.
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September 2005
Volume 10, Issue 12