Coming Soon: The 2009 NASP Public Policy Institute

Article excerpt

The NASP Public Policy Institute (PPI) will be held July 13-15 in Bethesda, MD and is an essential training experience for any state interested in pursuing public policy initiatives that impact school psychology. Many states are currently working to achieve NCSP parity, protect the title "school psychologist," or expand the availability of school mental health services. Many school districts are facing budget cuts and school psychologists are working to prioritize and position their services to protect them from being impacted by difficult financial times. A terrific way for individuals and state associations to build their capacity to engage in effective advocacy is to involve individuals or teams from their state in the 2009 NASP PPI. Through this experience, participants and state association leaders will gain critical knowledge and a realistic perspective about how to make policy and legislative goals a reality.

Nationally recognized experts, NASP leaders, and NASP staff will provide training on the fundamentals of both professional and legislative advocacy. The 2009 NASP PPI will be held concurrently with the NASP Summer Conference and all participants will attend the four general session presentations together. These four general sessions will include presentations by Dr. George Sugai examining how PBIS can be advanced through policy and practice; Dr. Karen Reivich sharing howher partnership with the Pepperidge Farm "Fishful Thinking" project has promoted positive psychology in schools; former NASP president Kevin Dwyer addressing how school psychologists can add value to their roles in school; and past-president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Rich Barbacane, who will address how school psychologists can become integral to school improvement initiatives.

All other PPI sessions will be led by local experts in the area of education, public policy, or government affairs; NASP leaders; and NASP staff. The primary objective of the PPI is to build capacity, knowledge, and skills related to public policy and grassroots advocacy. Topics reviewed will be key education statutes like NCLB and IDEA, and how states can create local advocacy networks that are effective at influencing public policy. Communication strategies, NASP initiatives, and specific tools for involving profession- als in the advocacy process will be addressed. …

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