7. SLP Caseloads

“Strategic Eligibility Management (SEM) is an approach to school SLP caseload management which has at its foundation the laws and regulations of IDEA 2004 requiring the reduction of overidentification of at-risk children” (cf. 4 SLP Caseloads). It provides a framework for improving the quality of service delivery through reducing caseload size, workload and special education overidentification.

One “strategic” mechanism is participation in pre-referral programs like response to intervention. Speech Pathology Group shows how the goals of reducing overidentification and caseload size can be managed together (SPG):

“The purpose of implementing a response to intervention (RTI) program is to not only reduce the number of special education referrals and evaluations, but to also prevent inappropriate placement of students in special education. RTI yields major cost savings to the education system by preventing over-identification of speech and language impairments, reducing long-term costs of educating struggling learners and allowing special education resources to be allocated on the basis of highest need.”

SLPs can contribute by making sure such programs do in fact reduce overidentification and the number of speech and language children placed in special education. Workload could be affected by being an RTI team member but the work may well reduce the number of children served.

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