FASP Advocacy


Get into politics as if your life depended on it. It does. - Justin Dart Jr.

Act Now...Here Are Some Starting Points

Social Justice

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has provided resources and publications focused on social justice as it relates to children and youth, the role of school psychologists as change agents, and the NASP Practice Model domains represented by this work.

Incidents of violence and injustice leave children, families, and communities confronting trauma, grief, or other social/emotional challenges. To support children and families who may experience difficulty, there are a number resources located on the NASP School Safety & Crisis Resources page. There you will find several topics, including Addressing Grief and Trauma, which contain hyperlinks to several recommended or related resources for school psychologists, administrators, teachers, and children and families.

Derek Francis, Manager of Counseling Services for Minneapolis Public Schools, posted this resource for talking with students proactively about race and social events

Child Mind Institute published this resource entitled, "Racism and Violence: How to Help Kids Handle the News

APA and Partners Defend Transgender Students' Rights
Rescinded federal protections leave youth at risk.
APA joined 18 other national organizations — including the National Association of School Psychologists — in signing a statement on the Trump Administration's decision to rescind guidance on federal protections for transgender students. The statement notes that transgender students are more likely than their cisgender peers to face harassment and discrimination in school. Research has shown that this increases their risk for suicide, other self-harm, and drug use. Hence, federal policy explicitly clarifying protections is necessary to safeguard transgender students' civil rights and well-being. APA will continue to advocate for the rights of underserved and vulnerable populations.
Take action: Join our Federal Action Network to participate in our efforts.

Florida Suicide Prevention

Become involved with suicide prevention efforts. Advocate on April 7, 2017, along with the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) at their annual Day at the Capitol. AFSP Capitol Days are a chance to meet with state legislators, let them know why suicide prevention is important, and advocate for public policies that can reduce the number of deaths by suicide in Florida. View the Governor's Proclamation for Florida Suicide Prevention Week 2016, become familiar with Florida's Suicide Prevention Plan 2016-2020 and Suicide Prevention Action Steps 2016-2020. In 2015, suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death for young Floridians ages 10-24. View suicide facts for Florida in 2016...we can change these facts!

FASP has partnered with NASP to make action easy...in less than 1 MINUTE! Click on the "Take Action" button below the following action items and a letter to your elected officials will be automatically generated and sent! Advocacy at its simplest form!

Increase Implementation of Effective School-Wide Discipline Policies and Practices

FASP needs you to ask your elected officials to take measures to increase the implementation of effective school-wide discipline policies and practices in schools. The state of Florida removes more children from school for disciplinary reasons than any other state and is a national leader in the school-to-prison pipeline. Florida has the highest overall suspension rates for both elementary and secondary education students in the country and is third in the country in terms of school-based arrests. Florida is one of only seven states where the number of elementary schools with high rates of suspension far outnumber the schools with rates of suspension closer to the national average. We need you to write your elected officials and ask for their support in providing funding for comprehensive and effective policies and practices to reduce the use of harmful and ineffective discipline policies authorized in legislation.

Recognition of School Psychology as a Critical Shortage Area

FASP needs you to ask your elected officials to take measures to recognize and proactively address the critical shortage of school psychologists. Addressing the critical shortage of school psychologists at a national and local level is a complex issue and there is not one single solution. NASP and FASP efforts to better understand the issue suggest that there are a number of issues contributing to the critical shortage including the state of Florida's move toward performance-based funding for universities which often translate to reductions in funding for growing and aspirant state institutions, a critical shortage of faculty trainers, a lack of appropriate funding for internships for students, as well as more attractive salaries and incentive packages for leaving the state.

Ensure Schools are Free of Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination

FASP needs you to contact your elected officials and ask for their support in the sponsorship and passage of legislation intended protect students, especially the most vulnerable populations, from bullying, harassment and discrimination in the schools.

Support Improved Access to Mental Health Care in Schools

FASP needs you to contact your elected officials and ask for their support in the sponsorship and passage of legislation intended to improve access to mental health care in schools. School-based mental health professionals, such as school psychologists, can provide access to prevention programming, early identification of mental health challenges, treatment options, or a more integrated, comprehensive program of support through partnerships with community mental health organizations and agencies. While federal agencies are calling on schools to enhance early identification methods to assess and connect students with mental health services, now is the time to recognize the integral role of school.

The Role of Student Services Personnel in Florida Schools: Creating Safe Schools through School-Based Mental Health Supports
  • The Florida Association of Student Services Administrators (FASSA) addresses how student services personnel contribute to safe schools by providing mental health supports to students. Representative Gayle Harrell, Chair of the Families Subcommittee, has recently requested information from superintendents regarding the mental health needs of public school students. We have a great opportunity and obligation to educate educational stakeholders and legislators on school-based mental health this session.

  • Reference the following legislation in other states in your advocacy efforts.
    House Bill 3365 has been introduced South Carolina and titled Mental health counseling. Article 12, Mandatory School Psychologists, Section 59-63-1210 reads, "Every public school in this State shall employ a school psychologist on a full-time basis to help school personnel identify students in need of mental health counseling, promote awareness of mental health issues and the availability of treatment, screen and identify students for mental health issues, and provide appropriate mental health counseling and make referrals for appropriate social services counseling."

    Now Is The Time: The President's plan to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence
  • The President's Plan includes making schools safer and increasing access to mental health services. Text to highlight in this document in advocacy efforts for mental health services for students begins on page 11, including funding dedicated to hiring school resource officers, school psychologists, social workers, and counselors.

  • Collaborative for Academic, Social, Emotional Learning (CASEL)
  • Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio has been one of the leading champions for social and emotional learning in Congress. Please work with us to help Congressman Ryan in getting a number of his colleagues in Congress to sign on to a letter to be sent to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The letter discusses SEL and its benefits and encourages the Department of Education to include social and emotional learning in the Obama Administration's new school climate ($50 million) and mental health ($25 million) proposals. Your representatives have already received a note from Congressman Ryan's office with more details on the content of the letter. (Draft Message | Contact Your Representative)

  • Bipartisan legislation supporting students' development through social and emotional learning has been introduced to the 112th Congress by Representatives Judy Biggert (R‐IL), Dale E. Kildee (D‐MI), and Tim Ryan (D‐OH).

    The Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act of 2011, HR 2437 will expand the availability of programs that teach students skills such as problem‐solving, conflict resolution, responsible decision-making, relationship building, goal‐setting, and self discipline. "This legislation will help teachers provide result‐driven instruction in skills that keep children focused on learning and prepare them to succeed in the real world," says Representative Judy Biggert, a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. (Read the Act - HR2437 | Sample Letter)

Spread the Word to End the Word

Pledge now and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.

Children's Movement of FloridaThe Children's Movement of Florida believes that the well-being and education of our children in Florida must be the highest priority of government, business, non-profit institutions and families. The economic future of our state and the stability of the communities we live in depend on achieving this goal. The major objective of the citizen-led, non-partisan Children's Movement of Florida is to inform the political, business and civic leaders, and the parents and people of this state, about this issue – and encourage them to make the well-being and education of our children our highest priority, including in the way we invest our public resources.

FASP formed a task force of select members to develop advocacy statements that could be used by school psychologists in their respective school districts. FASP is happy to present the first position paper created by this task force and encourages you to use this information to advocate for school psychologists throughout the state of Florida.
Florida's School Psychologists: Enhancing Student Outcomes and Supporting Florida's Schools and Families

FASP has partnered with the Florida School Counselor association (FSCA), and the Florida Association of School Social Workers (FASSW) to develop a coalition of advocacy throughout our state and with our state legislative body. The following letters have been developed to date:

FASP would also like to share links to NASP's website that are excellent products with topics spanning across a variety of advocacy topics. You may need to tailor these articles to fit the needs of your individual districts, but their content is well-written and researched where appropriate.

Summary of NASP School Psychology Advocacy Materials
Evidence for the Positive Impact of School Psychological Services
School Psychologists: Improving Student and School Outcomes
Overview of School-Based Mental Health Providers
Removing Barriers to Learning and Improving Student Outcomes: The Importance of School Based Mental Health Services
Position on Mental Health Services in Schools
What Makes a School Psychologist a School Psychologist?
Links to More Advocacy Resources on NASP's Website