Arizona School District Awards Salary Supplement to Certified Speech-Language Pathologists This fall, Arizona’s Page Unified School District, a small district in the northernmost part of the state, will begin providing a $3,000 salary supplement for ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists. The district, which borders Utah and the Navajo reservation, has about 3,100 students in two elementary schools, one middle school, and one ... School Matters
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School Matters  |   February 01, 2002
Arizona School District Awards Salary Supplement to Certified Speech-Language Pathologists
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School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / School Matters
School Matters   |   February 01, 2002
Arizona School District Awards Salary Supplement to Certified Speech-Language Pathologists
The ASHA Leader, February 2002, Vol. 7, 2-13. doi:10.1044/leader.SCM.07032002.2
The ASHA Leader, February 2002, Vol. 7, 2-13. doi:10.1044/leader.SCM.07032002.2
This fall, Arizona’s Page Unified School District, a small district in the northernmost part of the state, will begin providing a $3,000 salary supplement for ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists.
The district, which borders Utah and the Navajo reservation, has about 3,100 students in two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Fé Murray, one of two SLPs currently employed there, reports that Page was one of the first districts in Arizona to award a stipend to teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
“The SLPs at the time attempted to secure the same stipend, but the political climate did not allow this,” Murray says. “Throughout the years, we have talked to various special education directors about this, but it was our current director, Eva Ross, who decided to go to bat for us.”
Last year, the Page SLPs—there were six then—took their proposal for a salary supplement to the local chapter of the National Education Association, but, Murray says, "Since it only affected six of us, they decided it wasn’t worth bringing to negotiations. We approached our director this year with the suggestion that passing the stipend would be a recruiting tool. We have lost four SLPs to moves, retirement, and maternity leave, so we’re contracting out for services.
“We helped our director and superintendent put something together by showing them information from ASHA’s State Advocacy Guidebook,” Murray says. “We also called several school districts around our state to see what they were doing, and we showed them classified ads from The ASHA Leader, Advance magazine, and our state association newsletter. Our director figured "out how much money had been spent so far to contract services, and projected how much would be spent by the end of the school year. All this was put together in a proposal for the school board. Some parents and advocacy groups also wrote letters to the board or talked to members personally on our behalf. The board was very supportive and it didn’t take them long to approve the stipend.”
The stipend will begin next school year (2002–2003) and will apply to all SLPs who have their CCCs. The district is also considering a possible sign-in bonus to attract clinical fellows.
Murray reports that, in addition to the new salary supplement, the district has always provided the SLPs—and other special educators—with much support, including:
  1. Secretarial support in collecting documents before testing, keeping track of testing schedules, and occasionally typing dictated reports.

  2. IEPs that are computerized, and IEP meetings that are scheduled for the SLPs. “An administrative designee runs our IEP meetings and fills out most of the paperwork so that our IEP work is kept to a minimum—this is wonderful!” Murray says.

  3. A generous budget for tests and treatment tools, and each SLP has a computer.

  4. Professional growth opportunities. “Once a conference is approved, the district pays for the conference, transportation, hotel, and even the meals,” Murray says.“We are so grateful for this that we try not to abuse it for fear it will disappear!”

Murray can be contacted by email at mailto:fmurray@pageud.k12.az.us.
For more information on the salary supplement initiative, contact Eileen Crowe through the Action Center at 800-498-2071, ext. 4221, or by email at mailto:ecrowe@asha.org. For strategies for negotiating with school unions/ associations and administrators, call the Action Center and request “Working for Change: A Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists in the Schools.”
For information about ASHA’s State Education Action Team, which is providing support on salary supplements and caseload size in targeted states, contact Susan Karr (caseload) through the Action Center at ext. 4308 or by email at mailto:skarr@asha.org, or Janet Deppe (salary supplements) at ext. 4447 or by email at mailto:jdeppe@asha.org. Deppe will be presenting on grassroots advocacy and participating in a panel discussion on salary supplements at the Arizona Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s annual convention April 12– 13.
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February 2002
Volume 7, Issue 3