Support HB340: A Salary Supplement for Qualified Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

Katie Cohen

What is HB 340?

House Bill 340 will require local boards of education to provide an annual salary supplement to qualified Speech-Language Pathologists or Audiologists. The bill is bipartisan; sponsored by Representatives R. Huff, P. Pratt, and D. Schamore. So far this session, this bill has had 3 readings in the House and passed 95-0. The Senate received the bill on 2/12/2020. 

Why provide a salary supplement to SLPs and AUDs?

Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists based in schools are vital to improving the public education of students with communication impairments from early childhood through graduation. 

SLPs and AUDs are highly qualified professionals that should be recognized as such. They have the option to hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence aka “the triple C’s”, through the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). To earn their C’s, Speech- Language Pathologists and Audiologists must earn a Master’s degree from an accredited university, perform 1600 hours of supervised clinical experience, pass a nationally recognized exam, and earn 30 continuing education hours every 3 years. 

The Certificate of Clinical Competence for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists is similar, but not synonymous with the National Board Certification for Teachers. CCC and NBCT programs both encourage professional excellence. 

Have we seen this bill before?

Yes, during the 2010 KY legislative session, a bill was passed and subsequently signed into law by Governor S. Beshear known as the “Salary Supplement Bill”, HB 376. It states that school-based Speech- Language Pathologists and Audiologists possessing a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) may be given a salary stipend, equivalent to that which teachers earning National Board Certification receive, in the value of $2,000. The wording of the bill “permits” local school boards to pay a salary supplement, however, it does not allocate any funds nor require them to do so. 

The Kentucky Speech-Language-Hearing Association (KSHA), KSHA’s Advocacy Network (iKAN), lobbyists, Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists across the state have continued to advocate for the salary supplement. In the 2019 legislative session, the salary supplement legislation, HB 168, received three readings in the House and on 03/06/19 passed 98-0. It was then sent to the Senate Education committee and died there. 

Is this specific to KY?

Currently, five states provide a range of salary supplements to school- based Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists who hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence. And three additional states provide a salary supplement only for SLPs. 

Salary supplements incentivize the best SLPs and AUDs to continue working in the public schools rather than leave for a role in the medical field where he or she could potentially earn double the pay. Salary supplements also encourage our best communication specialists to continue residing in the state of KY rather than moving to a state where he or she could receive higher pay. 

Support school-based Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. Support HB 340. 

You can call the LRC Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 to leave a message for your Senator or ALL Senators asking them to SUPPORT HB340.

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