MASP not only advocates for school psychologists, but we also advocate for a variety of topics that best support students, schools, families, and the communities within which we work. In addition to advocating for the achievement and success of students, and mental health and wellness of students, staff, and parents, we also advocate for legislation that will best support educational communities and individual well-being. In addition to having our NASP liaison, we also have our MASP lobbyist, Noah Smith with Capitol Services, that works closely with the association to help us advocate and be alert to anything that we may potentially need to get involved with.
Forms of visible advocacy efforts can be seen through position statements (see below), testimony in Lansing, involvement in different multi-disciplinary coalitions and groups across the state, and through various communications. Currently, much of our advocacy has focused on COVID-19 and social justice initiatives and responses. If you have any ideas, suggestions, or would like to get involved, please reach out to your regional representative, found here.
Here are some of our most recent advocacy efforts:
MASP SMART Bill
The Student Mental Health Apprenticeship Program for Retention and Training (SMART) Bill was created to provide financial support to encourage more people to enter school based mental health professions (School Psychology, School Counseling, and School Social Work). The SMART Program provides paid work experiences and practicum opportunities for School Psychology graduate students. The SMART Bill passed in the Michigan Senate (37-0) and in the Michigan House (93-12). It was signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and became a public act on July 25, 2022. Behind this effort was a collaborative process between the MASP Shortage Committee (headed by Michele Millhouse), Legislative Action Committee, and the Executive Council, as well as with huge support from Dr. Amanda Unger at West Shore ESD who helped pilot such a program in conjunction with the School & Community Psychology Program at Wayne State University, and MASP lobbyist, Noah Smith.
In addition to MASP's efforts, the Michigan Association for School Social Workers and Michigan School Counselor Association were huge collaborators as well and we are grateful for their support, input, and advocacy. We would also like to recognize and thank Dr. Amanda Unger (West Shore ESD), Dr. Jana Aupperlee (Michigan State University), Heather Salazar (school psychologist, Lenawee County), and Dr. Diana Wheatley (Michigan Association of School Social Workers/MASSW). For more information, click here.
MASP COVID-19 Response Model of Practice- provided to members and individuals, which many shared with their districts.
Throughout this time, concerns and questions regarding remote assessments have been raised by constituents and school administrators. As a result of concern, MASP has sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Education regarding special education testing and virtual assessment. This letter has been further shared with other state organizations and the Governor.
Advocacy Letter RE: The School to Prison Pipeline and Grace
In Michigan, Black youth are incarcerated at four times the rate of their white peers. As part of our social justice advocacy efforts, when we learned about Grace, the MASP Executive Board wanted to advocate on her behalf, as a student with intersecting identities (i.e., black female with a disability) and all past, present, and future Graces. We sent this letter to the Judge Brennan’s clerks and also copied the Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper and State Attorney General Dana .
As an update (7/31/2020), based on multiple advocacy efforts from individuals, politicians, and other various groups, Grace has finally been released!
MASP Call to Action for Social and Racial Justice
2020 has been challenging, overwhelming, and heartbreaking. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others have ignited impassioned calls for immediate and purposeful action to dismantle systemic racism, injustice, and violence against people of color in this country and across the globe. MASP recognizes that systemic, institutional racial oppression and inequity are having a significant impact on the physical and psychological well-being of minority students, families, educators, and communities, and should be an immediate and overriding priority of our association and membership.
In the spirit of unity, liberty, equality, and equity, the MASP Board of Directors adopted a position statement, “MASP Call to Action for Social and Racial Justice.” The MASP Board believes each of us has a moral and ethical imperative to identify and intervene in matters of social and racial injustice to help improve the well-being of children, families, and communities.
To help with advocacy, the MASP has adopted position statements on the following topics:
|Child Migrant Separations From Their Parents|
|Response to Intervention|
|Identification of Students with Specific Learning Disabilities|
|Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Questioning Youth|
|Bullying Prevention & Intervention in Schools|
|School-Family Partnering to Enhance Learning: Essential Elements & Resp|
|School Psychologist's Involvement in Assessment|
|The Importance of School Mental Health Services|
|Necessary Use of the Title "School Psychologist"|
|Early Childhood Services|
|Racial & Ethnic Disproportionality|
|Prevention & Wellness Promotion|
|Guns in Schools|
Get Involved in Legislative Advocacy through the NASP Advocacy Action Center