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Arizona Association of
School Psychologists
 

The mission of school psychologists is to promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments for all children and youth by implementing research-based, effective programs that prevent problems, enhance independence, and promote optimal learning.

Member Support Statement: Arizona Red for Ed Walkout

AASP has received several contacts from members questioning how an Arizona educator walkout will impact the role of school psychologists and services to students during the work stoppage and walkout across our state. AASP remains committed to supporting teachers and the educational community in efforts to increase resources to better meet the needs of children. As your AASP Board and NASP Delegate, we wanted to reach out and let you know that we hear your concerns. 

We have been in contact with other state associations and NASP seeking clarification and guidance for the questions that have been asked of us. We have also reached out to ADE for guidance on special education services and timelines.  We had hoped to have detailed information for you by this point, but at this time, the only consistent message that we can share based on our communication is that you should contact your county superintendent or district office for guidance on how to proceed over the next days as the walkout activities occur.

The question has been raised about whether “strikes” are legal activities for educators in Arizona with some Arizona AG opinions suggesting that it is not a legal action. Arizona is a “right to work” and an “at-will employment” state. Both of these may have bearing in this situation. We do not have legal advice on this matter. There is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen to school employees who take part in the walkout. The experience will likely vary from district to district. Loss of pay, dismissal, and/or action on one’s certificates are possibilities that some educators participating in walkouts may face. AASP leadership cannot know what actions will be taken in different districts. Again, you are encouraged to seek guidance from your county or district superintendent or district office on these matters.

We consulted the NASP ethics code and it indicates that school psychologists are free to act in political/public discourse in as much that the actions do not interfere with the ability to provide services to children.  Here is the relevant code related to this.

NASP Ethical Code: Standard IV.2.4:

“School psychologists may act as individual citizens to bring about change in a lawful manner. They identify when they are speaking as private citizens rather than as employees. They also identify when they speak as individual professionals rather than as representatives of a professional association. (NASP, 2010, p.12)”

Engaging in a walkout where students are unable to receive services and FAPE could be construed as interfering with the provision of legally entitled services to children.  In other words, an ethical complaint could potentially be made against a school psychologist who engaged in such an activity. However, it would be up to the entire NASP Ethics and Professional Practice Board to determine if a violation had occurred. So, there is a risk, but not an ethical prohibition of such an act. AASP does not advocate a particular action in this case but encourages members to make considered decisions within their circumstances. AASP is not an ethics body and will not accept ethics complaints. If members have questions about ethical responsibilities they are encouraged to contact the NASP Ethics and Professional Practice Board by contacting board members through their posted email addresses.

We have also been asked if, and how AASP is advocating for school psychologist salaries at the state level during this process. Keeping in mind that AASP is a volunteer organization, we rely on member involvement in the state legislative process surrounding school funding issues about which they are concerned. We have written a letter of support regarding the proposed school safety plan that included advocating for increases in school psychology services in the mental health domain in schools. You can find this letter and a link to the Governor’s plan on the AASP website: https://www.aasp-az.org/  Our Child and Family Advocacy Committee is also routinely involved with partner organizations who advocate and support increases in funding for public education in Arizona. Two organizations that we sometimes partner with on common goals such as education funding include AZ Schools Now and Arizona Business and Education Coalition. We encourage our members to reach out to their state legislators and representatives. You can find the name and contact of your Arizona state legislator to address Arizona laws and resolutions here: https://www.azleg.gov/findmylegislator/  We urge you to contact Governor Ducey’s office to share your concerns and support for increased education funding.

Our mission as an organization is to promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments for all children and youth by implementing research-based, effective programs that prevents problems, enhances independence, and promotes optimal learning. Consistent with this mission we support teachers and other school personnel who share our objective of facilitating improved outcomes for children including efforts to optimize educational learning environments with equitable school funding. We encourage our members to access professional advocacy resources from the National Association of School Psychologists. For more information on advocacy for the profession, please visit NASP's "Advocacy Tools and Resources" site: https://www.nasponline.org/research-and-policy/advocacy-tools-and-resources

If more information becomes available the AASP board will update members through our website. Please check back: https://www.aasp-az.org/  As your AASP Board and NASP Delegate, we reiterate that we hear your concerns and we appreciate whatever choices you make to advocate on behalf of children and families in Arizona and the educators who support them.


Safe Arizona Schools and Crisis Training Materials

AASP is thrilled with Governor Ducey’s new Safe Arizona Schools action plan. In his plan, the Governor recognizes that children have the right to feel and be safe in their classrooms. AASP is particularly supportive of the focus on increasing mental health care in schools as well as increased training and support of school resource officers. His proposal calls for common sense changes to our state laws regulating access to firearms as well. We urge you to review Governor Ducey’s plan here and to contact Governor Ducey’s office to share your support.

Please click on the following document to read a message from AASP regarding the plan and some additional resources for crisis training: 

Message about crisis training.pdf


Information Regarding Arizona Senate Bill 1467

Hello fellow AASP members!  We wanted to make you aware of a bill that would have an impact on public school funding.  SB 1467 invests more dollars in private schools than public schools.  Children's Action Alliance (CAA) has put together two fact sheets that describe this bill and the impact it would have on public school funding. If you are interested in learning more about SB 1467, please review the two documents put together by CAA.

CAA Fact Sheet 1.pdf  

CAA Fact Sheet 2.pdf

NASP Resources for School Psychologists on the Important Issues of Safe and Successful Schools and Supporting Efforts to Prevent Gun Violence

AASP is very aware that the topic of keeping students safe will be an important topic throughout Arizona schools (especially high schools) this week.  Attached are documents from NASP that are resources for school psychologists to share with others.  These documents use real data and a research base to discuss these important issues.

A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools

“This join statement provides a framework supported by educators for improving school safety and increasing access to mental health supports for children and youth.”

safe-successful-schools-framework.pdf

NASP Resolution for Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence

This resolution was passed by the NASP Leadership Assembly on January 23, 2018 speaks to the issues that students are organizing to address.

Resolution Efforts to Prevent Gun Violence_January_2018_With_References_FINAL.pdf

NASP Position Statement on School Violence

This statement adopted by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in 2015 “vigorously supports and promotes efforts that create safe, secure, and peaceful schools free of the destructive influence of violence in all of its forms.”

SchoolViolence.pdf


Call for Action Regarding Education Funding

Hello fellow AASP members!  AZ Schools Now has recently launched their #WheresThePlan campaign which focuses on educational funding in Arizona.  Please watch the video below to learn more. 

https://youtu.be/iiKXtsA3ubU 

You also have the option of signing their #WheresThePlan petition at the following link:   https://azschoolsnow.org/petition/wheres-the-plan/

Thank you for your advocacy!

NASP Advocacy Action Center

1. Visit The NASP Advocacy Page to find all of NASP's current Legislative alerts.

2. Click on the blue title of one of these alerts, and this will bring you to a new page.

3. Input your personal information in the pre-existing boxes to send the letter to Congress. The Advocacy Action Center will find your members of Congress automatically by your zip code.

4. If you check the box "Remember me" at the bottom of the page , it will remember this information.

5. Press "submit" on this page and a new page will appear with a draft subject line and message to e-mail to congress. You may keep this subject line and message or choose to edit it.

6. When you are finished editing the letter, press "Submit" and you will receive a confirmation that your letter was sent.

7. From the confirmation page, press "Back to main page" to return to the home page and submit the rest of the letters.


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