8. SLP Caseloads

Trying to manage a caseload through “external solutions” such as efforts to have administrators and government agencies set lower caseload limits and hire more SLPs takes great energy with mixed results (cf. About Us). School administrators can eliminate caseload caps, reassign, or reclassify SLP services:   

 “The elimination of speech language pathology is driven in part because of concerns about the overidentification of students into the special education category. Overidentification prevention would best be done by a focus on literacy in the early grades and the creation of early intervention programs as Catherine Ciarlo did in Cranston.         By making speech services a related service not part of special education, districts will provide less speech language services to children who need such services…..Despite the good will of school administrators, budget issues will drive decisions to the detriment of education quality” (Providence Teachers).

Administrators, too, have to manage caseloads, but from an entirely different vantage point. Not only is money involved, but the push for general education programs such as early intervention and RTI is intense. SLPs are thought to be highly qualified and creative employees who are more valuable in collaborative prevention programs than in self-contained speech programs. IDEA 2004 legally justifies much programmatic change, and reduction of overidentification cannot be ignored (cf. 1. SLP Caseloads).

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