Oklahoma Members Continue to Seek Salary Supplement Legislation Speech-language pathologists and audiologists who work in Oklahoma schools are hoping the third time will prove to be a charm as they seek passage of legislation to secure a salary supplement for ASHA-certified, school-based clinicians. The Oklahoma Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (OSHA) Governmental Regulations Committee (GRC), working in conjunction with the Oklahoma ... News in Brief
Free
News in Brief  |   October 01, 2002
Oklahoma Members Continue to Seek Salary Supplement Legislation
Author Notes
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   October 01, 2002
Oklahoma Members Continue to Seek Salary Supplement Legislation
The ASHA Leader, October 2002, Vol. 7, 1-18. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.07192002.1
The ASHA Leader, October 2002, Vol. 7, 1-18. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.07192002.1
Speech-language pathologists and audiologists who work in Oklahoma schools are hoping the third time will prove to be a charm as they seek passage of legislation to secure a salary supplement for ASHA-certified, school-based clinicians. The Oklahoma Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (OSHA) Governmental Regulations Committee (GRC), working in conjunction with the Oklahoma School Psychological Association, is moving ahead with plans to reintroduce legislation during the 2002–2003 legislative session that would provide certified school-based SLPs, audiologists, and school psychologists an annual bonus of $5,000. Currently, only teachers achieving master teacher status are eligible for a salary incentive. ASHA’s State Education Action Team continues to partner with OSHA and support its efforts to secure a salary supplement.
During the last two years, similar salary supplement legislation has passed the Oklahoma Senate, but has come to a dead end each time in the House Education-Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee. This year, the outlook is brighter because the former chair of this subcommittee has retired from the legislature.
“We have garnered the support of much of the current and, hopefully, the future leadership in the state Legislature,” said Rick Talbott, chair of OSHA’s GRC. “Both the current speaker of the House and the president pro tem designate of the Senate have committed their support for the bill this year. In addition, with the considerable assistance of ASHA’s State Education Advocacy Team, we have been able to better organize our grassroots political advocacy and, during this election year, are encouraged by the efforts of many of our state members.”
Talbott and Richard Hutton, OSHA’s lobbyist, have met to discuss the outcome of the recent state primaries and September runoff elections. Constituent members have been asked to visit targeted candidates and garner support for the legislation.
Grassroots Training
In August, the State Education Action Team and OSHA sponsored a grassroots training in Oklahoma City. Joel Blackwell, an expert on mobilizing grassroots efforts and utilizing individual political power to influence legislators, conducted the training.
The morning session, attended by members of OSHA’s political leadership team and executive board, focused on political advocacy strategies and identifying key legislators, matching legislators to constituent advocates.
In the afternoon, attendees watched a videotaped presentation from Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Cal Hobson that featured tips on working with legislators. The session also covered formulating and delivering a cogent message, as well as building lasting relationships with legislators. Over 25 OSHA members participated in the session, demonstrating their commitment to the association’s legislative agenda and their willingness to be actively involved in the legislative process.
“We were very pleased and surprised by the number of volunteers that came to a Saturday meeting and by their willingness to do what was needed to get the bill passed,” said Janet Deppe, ASHA’s director of state education policy.
“While many of the attendees were somewhat seasoned political advocates, the training provided an excellent opportunity for calibration of our efforts,” Talbott said. “It provided a good overview of best practices in political advocacy and served to kick start our efforts for the coming year.”
Efforts in Other States
The State Education Action Team also is preparing for the upcoming legislative session in the three other targeted states—Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Rhode Island, which held its state association meeting last month, continues to organize its advocacy committee, revise its salary supplement legislation, and recruit volunteers for upcoming grassroots efforts. Advocacy committee members will participate in a grassroots training workshop in November.
The Virginia advocacy committee continues to identify and train regional representatives to coordinate grassroots activities. This summer, committee members met with the State Board of Education to discuss the impact of high caseloads on the Virginia Standards of Quality.
West Virginia’s advocacy committee is conducting a member survey, has revised legislative packets, and is conducting legislative visits.
For more information, contact Deppe through the Action Center at 800-498-2071, ext.4447, or by e-mail at jdeppe@asha.org, or Susan Karr at ext. 4308 or skarr@asha.org.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
October 2002
Volume 7, Issue 19