SB 2402 introduced by Senator Alice Harden discontinues the National Board Certification supplement for anyone entering the Master Teacher program after June 30, 2010, while maintaining funding for those already receiving the supplement. Senator Videt Carmichael, Chair Education committee, is supporting SB 2402 with amendments, indicating that he would recommend temporary suspension of the supplement. Senator Carmichael could bring this bill forward in committee as soon as Thursday. Even with indications of his intent to amend the bill it could leave the committee as originally drafted effectively ending the supplement for future educators.
It is time to contact legislators regarding this important issue. After discussion with MSHA lobbyist, Stephen Clay, we feel that our focus should be on members of the Senate Education committee, excluding the Chair, and the House Education committee. Committee membership is listed below. For contact information, go to the Mississippi Legislature website at http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/.
Senate Education Committee
Videt Carmichael, Chairman; Gray Tollison, Vice-Chairman
Members: David Blount; Hob Bryan; Terry C. Burton; Doug E. Davis; Merle Flowers; Alice Harden; David Jordan; Tom King; Chris McDaniel; Bennie L. Turner; Michael Watson; J. P. Wilemon, Jr.; Lee Yancey
House Education Committee
Cecil Brown, Chairman; Sara R. Thomas, Vice-Chairman
Members: Noal Akins; Toby Barker; Billy Broomfield; Kelvin Buck; Kimberly Campbell Buck; Clara Burnett; Bryant W. Clark; Alyce G. Clarke; Linda F. Coleman; Reecy L. Dickson; Bob Evans; Herb Frierson; Joe C. Gardner; Esther Harrison; Gregory Holloway; Wanda Jennings; Brandon Jones; Sherra Hillman Lane; John Mayo; Kevin McGee; David W. Myers; Russ Nowell; Jimmy Puckett; Rufus Straughter; J. Shaun Walley; Greg Ward; Joseph L. Warren; Tom Weathersby; Linda Whittington
We urge you to contact these legislators.
The time for action is now.
1) Many districts across the state currently cannot find CCC qualified speech-language pathologists, and the possibility of losing the salary supplement would make it much worse.
2) The loss of this salary supplement will cause the loss of highly trained professionals in the public schools as they move to the private sector for better pay. This would only add to the current shortage of highly qualified providers in schools.
3) Annual earnings reports reflect an approximately $20,000 difference in pay for speech-language pathologists employed in a skilled nursing facility and those working the public schools. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of speech-language pathologists:
Nursing care facilities $70,180
Offices of other health practitioners 63,240
General medical and surgical hospitals 61,970
Elementary and secondary schools 53,110
4) Ultimately, districts may have to contract with private speech-language pathologists, resulting in less cost effective measures than employing a speech language pathologist full time.
5) The loss of the salary supplement would cause the most harm to the students that are served by highly qualified providers. With Mississippi ranking at the bottom of the nation in education, we cannot afford to remove the salary supplement and potentially lose highly qualified providers of education. Currently there are 800 speech language pathologists licensed through MDE, 670 of those meet national certification requirements.