Letter to ISBE regarding Short-Term Approval
In late June of 2020, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) invited school support personnel representatives, which included members of ISHA, to participate in the Short-Term Approval Stakeholder discussion to proactively address shortages of speech-language pathologists and audiologists in the school setting. After participating in the discussion, ISHA remains opposed to reinstatement of the Speech-Language Pathology Paraprofessional (SLPP) endorsement for bachelor-level graduates. ISHA, as a professional organization representing speech-language pathologists and audiologists, made their voice heard in a letter sent on July 9th. This letter outlined the specific reasons that ISHA opposes the reinstatement of SLPPs.
Additionally, after the discussion with ISBE, the Speaking for Children Coalition, which is comprised of leadership from all five school support personnel professionals (school counselors, school nurses, school social workers, school psychologists, and speech-language pathologists and audiologists), met and formulated their collective response. ISHA representatives are active members of the Speaking for Children Coalition and were part of that discussion. A letter from the Speaking for Children Coalition addressing concerns about potential rules that may be written that may conflict with our professional training and educational standards was sent to ISBE in August. In addition to the letter, the coalition sent a chart that delineates the educational training for each profession, including SLPs, SLPAs, audiologists, and audiology assistants.
The Rules Committee of ISBE is continuing its discussion to address Short-term Approval for the Professional Educator License for school support personnel as they focus on reducing the shortages across the state. Updates regarding this issue will be posted as they become available.