Louisiana School 

Psychological 

Association 


 
 
 
 

Advocacy

Contact your Legislator

If you would like to contact your representative, here is a link that provides a quick lookup:  http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/FindMyLegislators.aspx

Legislative Actions

2021 LEGISLATIVE Session

HB 170 

Opposed because this bill would require schools to identify and report dyslexia diagnoses. Currently, Louisiana schools classify students with specific learning disabilities, but we are not required to diagnose dyslexia. Likewise, under current regulations, students can receive a 504 Plan due to “characteristics” of dyslexia; formal dyslexia diagnoses are not required. HB 170 would require schools to use practitioners credentialed to diagnose dyslexia and it may require re-evaluations for all of our students currently classified under SLD for reading disabilities. This would be an inefficient use of time and resources with no measurable benefit for students, who might simply receive an additional label. Our current screening and assessment tools already allow us to precisely pinpoint students’ intervention needs; conducting re-evals just to consider a new label would not add value.

HB 324

Support because this bill aims to prohibit corporal punishment in schools. Consistent with NASP’s position statement, LSPA opposes corporal punishment in schools. 

https://www.nasponline.org/research-and-policy/policy-priorities/position-statements 

As school psychologists, we are ethically obligated to protect the rights and welfare of children and we are uniquely trained to support schools and families in the use of safe and effective positive behavior interventions and supports.  

HB 575

Opposed. This bill aims to prohibit gender-affirming medical care and would require school mental health professionals to “out” children’s gender identity to their parents, which violates our ethical obligations with respect to privacy, confidentiality, and respecting the dignity of all people. NASP ethical Standard I.2.5 states that school psychologists “do not share information about the sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status of a student (including minors), parent, or school employee with anyone without that individual’s permission.” NASP has many resources to help us advocate for the safety and wellbeing of transgender and gender diverse students. https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/diversity-and-social-justice/lgbtq-youth/transgender-youth

SB 104

Opposed because this bill does not respect the dignity and privacy / confidentiality of all students, particularly those with transgender or gender diverse backgrounds. School psychologists' ethical obligations regarding confidentiality are inconsistent with this bill. 

SB 156

Opposed because this bill does not respect the dignity and privacy / confidentiality of all students, particularly those with transgender or gender diverse backgrounds. It also gets the science wrong by ignoring the spectrum of individual differences in biology. 

HB 542

Opposed because this bill does not respect the dignity and privacy / confidentiality of all students, particularly those with transgender or gender diverse backgrounds. It also gets the science wrong by ignoring the spectrum of individual differences in biology. 

HB 477

Support because this bill addresses fees that the Louisiana Board of Examiners of Psychologists can charge (e.g., for providing professional development), but does not open or amend the practice act. LSBEP is at risk of running out of funds and this bill would provide some increased revenue while the board works out a long term strategy to ensure financial solvency. We believe that it is in the best interests of psychology for psychologists to maintain their own board. If LSBEP does not stay afloat financially, psychologists, including LSSPs, risk losing their independence as a profession in Louisiana. 

HB 411

Support because this bill would improve prior discipline legislation by emphasizing in-school intervention over exclusionary discipline and calling for the use of evidence-based practices.  

HB 564

Opposed because it aimed to restrict K-12 and higher education instructors from teaching about “divisive topics” (e.g., apparently, structural racism and sexism).

SB 22

Opposed because it would require those in the teachers’ retirement system (TRSL) to work until age 67 to receive their full retirement benefit, even if they had put in their 40 years before reaching that age. 


2020 LEGISLATIVE Session

Bills that LSPA Opposes & Rationale:

SB 128: Requires certain assessments prior to a suspension. This bill requires schools to screen students (e.g., with an ACEs screener) right after a disciplinary incident in which administrators are considering a suspension consequence; principals or their designees would use the screening results to inform decisions about whether to suspend the student(s). LSPA endorses alternatives to suspension and sensitivity to trauma, but finds that the requirements of this bill raise feasibility and ethics concerns.

HB 391: Addresses dyslexia screening, assessment, and intervention. Endorses an IQ-Achievement discrepancy approach to defining and diagnosing dyslexia, although extensive evidence refutes the diagnostic and treatment validity of the discrepancy approach. Requires dyslexia-specific screeners, although a variety of evidence-based screening tools are appropriate for identifying risk and informing intervention needs in reading and related skills. Requires schools to perform diagnostic dyslexia evaluations, bypassing 1508 evaluation procedures and our mandate to determine eligibility as opposed to rendering diagnoses.

HB 505: Establishes the licensed profession of art therapist. To protect the well-being of children, LSPA wants to ensure that anyone licensed to perform the services outlined in this bill (e.g., work through tragic events, conflict, grief, and complex emotions; enhance neurological, cognitive, and social skills) has extensive training certifying their relevant competencies.

HB 250: Provides relative to the prosecution of certain juveniles in adult criminal court for offenses involving a firearm. This bill rolls back elements of the "Raise the Age" reforms that LSPA previously endorsed. Juveniles have unique developmental characteristics warranting a unique process, separate from the adult system.

Bills that LSPA Supports & Rationale

HB 762: The bill aims to establish the Related Services Advisory Commission to study and make recommendations about the availability of related services for students with special needs and exceptionalities.

LEGISLATIVE RESULTS FROM THE 2018 REGULAR SESSION WITH EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS

Bills that LSPA Opposed:

HB 511, became HB 898: LA School & Student Safety Act (Requires a threat Assessment, Mandatory Reporting to Law Enforcement and Mental Health evaluation of those representing threats).  *Passed, Now Act 716, Effective 8/1/2018

HB 766:  Behavioral health services for students provided by behavioral health providers working outside the school system during school hours.  Includes a psychiatrist, psychologist, medical psychologist, licensed specialist in school psychology, marriage and family therapist, professional counselor, clinical social worker, or behavioral health provider licensed to provide behavioral health services in Louisiana.  They may conduct a Behavioral Health Evaluation that includes diagnosis, type of intervention, length of intervention, identification of student goals, and identification of impact of student behavior on a student’s educational program not to supersede the authority of a student’s IEP or 504 service plan.  *Passed, Now Act 696, Effective 8/1/18

SB 303:  Criminalizes students in regards to Bullying (Passed in the Senate but involuntarily deferred in Committee/Dead)

HB 53:  Prohibits public employees from testifying in legislative committees (Failed to Pass 46-43)

SB 25:  Prohibits public employees from contracting lobbyists *Passed, Now Act 480, Effective 8/1/18

SB 178:  Allows for students to wear backpacks *Passed, now Act 523, Effective 5/23/2018

SB 298—School Safety Bill:  Allows teachers to have student removed to alternative school or police due to behavior threat and school safety concerns.  (Considered/Died in Committee)

HB 271: Concealed handgun on school property (Failed in Committee/Dead)

SB 84, became SB 563: Provides relative to the penalty for cruelty to a juvenile (Passed, Now Act 479, Effective 8/1/2018); SB 248:  Delays the Raise the Age Bill (from 17 to 18) to be prosecuted as adults that passed last year to 2019 and 2020 respectively *Passed, Now Act 654, Effective 6/1/2018

HB 294:—Changes “at risk” to economically disadvantaged revises definition of children

*Passed and is now Act 654, Effective 6/1/2018


2018 Regular Session Bills LSPA Endorsed:

SB 344:  Requires the LDOE to develop a model master plan for improving school climate and promoting student social, emotional, and behavioral health.  Now 29 members to also include the director of Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, the president of the Urban League of Louisiana, The president of MetroMorphosis, the president of the Louisiana Psychological Association, and the president of the Louisiana School Counselors Association (or their designees).  *Passed, Now Act 600, Effective 5/30/2018

SB 345:  School Master Plan for Supporting Student Behavioral Health. (Considered/Died in Committee)

HB 199:  Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K) task force. *Passed, Now Act 455, Section 1-3 effective 5/23/18; Section 4 Effective 3/1/2019

HB 148: “Zero Suicide Initiative” (State suicide prevention plan).  *Passed, Now Act 450, Effective 8/1/18

SB 228:  Prohibits schools that receive state funds from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation (Considered/Died in Committee)

2018 Regular Session Bills that LSPA neither opposed nor endorsed:

SB 301:  (Relative to Teacher Bill of Rights) allows teachers to use physical force against a student to protect themselves and/or call authorities for physical removal if imminent threat to the teacher or others; and the right to request the school principal to provide security in the classroom if in their professional judgment, imminent risks//threats exist. (Considered/Died in Committee)   

HB 145:  Provides limitations on diagnosing of disorder imposed on another (formerly known as “Munchausen syndrome by proxy”), and on circumstances in which state child welfare proceedings (child in need of care proceedings) may be initiated.  *Passed, Now Act 193, Effective 8/1/2018

SB 310:  Strengthens law requiring data collection and analysis for students with exceptionalities (Wants to withhold 10% of funds appropriated to the SDOE if student data is not reported as required by present law.  *Passed, Now Act 660, Effective 6/1/2018

HB 842:  Requires daily recess for public school students in grades k-8.  Present law requires at least 30 minutes a day of quality moderate physical activity for students.  This proposed an additional 30 minutes of recess as defined as a play environment outside of regular classroom instructional activities where students are allowed to engage in supervised, safe, and active free play. (Failed to pass 44-52)

HB 387:  Provides parent rights to review and receive copies of educational records within 10 business days of receipt of written request.  *Passed, now Act 547

HB 656:  Requires Universal Literacy Screening in grades 2-3 not later than 30 days after school starts.  If students score above grade level, they should be screened for Gifted; if they score below grade level, then consider additional resources.  State is looking at the numbers. *Passed, Now Act 688, Effective 8/1/2018

HB 627:  Relative to health conditions for which a recommendation of or prescription for medical marijuana in treating certain conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder.  *Passed and is now Act 496, Section 1 and 3 Effective 5/23/18; Section 2 and 4 will be Effective when DEA reclassifies marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.  Effective 1/1/2020, LSU Ag and Southern University Ag must submit a report to include data and outcomes of research conducted pursuant to this.

SB 152:  Release of school and district performance scores and letter grades rules using both old and new methodologies (from 2016-2017 and 2017-2018) and shall be displayed side by side to facilitate easy comparison.  *Passed, Now Act 522, Effective 5/23/2018

SB 224:  Display the US Motto “In God We Trust” in all public school buildings.  *Passed, now Act 410, Effective 5/23/2018*Bill Passed into Law


2016 REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Act 130

In the 2016 Spring Regular Session, PSA filed two bills with the support of Representative Frank Hoffmann. HB 217 advocates for school psychologists and other qualified examiners under LA Bulletin 1508 guidelines to pursue Special Education Administration Certification and was passed by Governor Edwards as Act 130 May 19, 2016. Click here to view ACT 130.


2014 REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Act 136

Eligibility for the Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) was signed by Governor Jindal (SB128) and it is now Act 136 of the 2014 Legislative Session.  The LSSP law took effect on August 1, 2014. Click here to view ACT 136.

 

No pictures to show

 
Louisiana School Psychological Association
Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management