NASW, in partnership with the National Alliance of Pupil Serving Organizations (NAPSO) coalition, held a briefing for Senate staff to educate them about the role of specialized instructional support personnel in promoting student success as Congress gears up to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as the No Child Left Behind Act.
A dance therapist, physical therapist, school nurse, and a speech and language pathologist were among the panelists from a variety of disciplines that work to improve the lives of students. A common theme among the panelists was a perceived workforce shortage, high caseloads, and administrative burdens. Of particular note, Fran Lewandoski, a social worker serving three schools in Fairfax County, stated that the current ratio for school social workers to students is 1:2500, significantly higher than the generally accepted industry ratio of 1:400.
This briefing is one of NAPSO’s many activities, in addition to numerous Hill visits and public comments to educate Congressional members about the role of specialized instructional support personnel in schools. For more information about NASW’s advocacy to reauthorize ESEA, go to http://www.socialworkers.org/advocacy/school/default.asp