NASISP Policy Issues

Higher Education/Training

Higher Education Reauthorization
NASISP submitted recommendations on recruiting and retaining qualified education personnel during the Higher Education Act reauthorization process. See supporting documents on each of the recommendations.

Pupil/Related Services Personnel
Defined in the No Child Left Behind Act (Sec. 9101, paragraph 36), pupil services personnel are also the providers of related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, Sec. 602, paragraph 22). To capture all aspects of these job descriptions, we will refer to these individuals as pupil/related services personnel. Pupil/related services personnel provide many professional services in our schools. These important services include providing a variety of prevention and intervention services that promote effective classroom learning and teaching and collaborating with teachers and school staff to ensure that students receive high quality instruction that is responsive to the diverse and developmental needs of all students. See Fact Sheet on Pupil Services Personnel.

  1. Addressing Shortages:  Recruiting and Retaining Qualified Personnel: NASISP strongly believes that language should be included in the Higher Education Act to address recruitment and retention of pupil/related services personnel, similar to what is included for teachers. Pupil/related services personnel are critical to assisting teachers with the many difficult challenges they face in today’s classrooms. We cannot expect teachers to possess all the skills and qualifications of pupil/related services personnel, who are specifically trained to address these types of challenges. Unfortunately, there is a chronic and severe nationwide shortage of qualified special education personnel. In fact, when pupil/related service providers are included, special education personnel rank among the country's top labor shortage areas. [U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, DC (2003).]
  2. Loan Forgiveness:  Incentives such as loan forgiveness – as proposed in Section 114 of S. 1793, the “College Quality, Affordability, and Diversity Improvement Act of 2003” – must be available to assist districts in recruitment and retention of pupil/related services personnel. Loan forgiveness will help to ensure that students have access to services from qualified personnel that are critical to achieving academic success.
  3. Mentoring Programs:  Pupil/related services personnel also should be utilized in mentoring programs for teachers and administrators that are aimed at increasing staff retention rates. Teachers who understand that there are specially trained individuals available to help them meet classroom challenges will feel more supported and thus more likely to stay in the profession.   

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NOTE:  All documents from NAPSO should now be recognized as NASISP documents. The new coalition name has been in effect since 2012.