2003 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Burton
AN ACT TO PROVIDE AN ALLOTMENT OF FUNDS UNDER THE ADEQUATE EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR THE PURPOSE OF EMPLOYING SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS BASED UPON SCHOOL STUDENT ENROLLMENT AND SUBJECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED; TO DEFINE THE COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED BY SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS PRACTICING IN SCHOOL SETTINGS; TO AMEND SECTION 73-31-27, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE APPROPRIATE USE OF TITLES BY SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS PRACTICING IN SCHOOL SETTINGS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Subject to the availability of funds specifically appropriated therefor by the Legislature, beginning with the 2003-2004 school year, in addition to other funds allotted under the adequate education program, each school district shall be allotted funding to employ one (1) school psychologist for every one thousand (1,000) students enrolled in the school district, or fraction thereof; provided that each school district shall be eligible for at least one (1) state-funded school psychologist. The State Department of Education may, however, increase the number of positions funded each year beyond the above requirements as money is made available.
(2) Beginning with the 2003-2004 school year, the assignment of K-12 school psychologists to the particular schools within the district shall be at the discretion of the local school board with the following restrictions:
(a) To the extent practicable, no school psychologist shall be assigned a pupil-teacher ratio in excess of one (1) school psychologist per one thousand (1,000) pupils; and
(b) No individual shall be employed as a school psychologist without a minimum of:
(i) Holding a AAA certification issued by the Mississippi Commission on Teacher and Administrator Education, Certification and Licensure and Development;
(ii) Holding the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) certificate offered through the National Association of School Psychologists; or
(iii) Holding a school psychologist credential equivalent to (a) or (b) issued by another state or jurisdiction; and
(c) School psychologists shall not be required to conduct testing, assessment and evaluation of special education students for more than fifty percent (50%) of their workday; and
(d) School psychologists shall be full-time professional personnel and shall spend a minimum of eighty-five percent (85%) of work time in direct psychologist activity with students.
(3) School psychologists shall abide by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Code of Ethics.
(4) The State Department of Education may adopt regulations regarding the activities of the school psychologist as are not inconsistent with this section.
SECTION 2. Section 73-31-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-31-27. (1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit:
(a) The activities, services and use of an official title on the part of a person in the employ of a federal, state, county or municipal agency, or of other political subdivisions, or any educational institution chartered by the state, insofar as such activities, services and use of an official title are a part of the duties of his office or position with such agency or institution; or
(b) The activities, services and use of an official title on the part of a person in the employ of an exempt organization (in any state) who may be employed by another exempt organization for a consulting fee; or
(c) The activities and services of a student, intern or trainee in psychology pursuing a course of study in psychology at an institution of higher education, if these activities and services constitute a part of his supervised course of study; or
(d) The services and activities of members of other professional groups licensed or certified by the State of Mississippi who perform work of a psychological nature consistent with their training, work experience history, and with any code of ethics of their respective professions, provided they do not hold themselves out to be psychologists. The practice of psychology as defined by this act overlaps with the activities of other professional groups and it is not the intent of this act to regulate the activities of these professional groups.
(2) Individuals certified by the Mississippi State Department of Education may use appropriate titles such as "school psychologist," "certified school psychologist," "educational psychologist" or "psychometrist" only when they are employed by or under contract with a school * * * and practicing in * * * an educational setting.
(3) Lecturers from any school or college may utilize their academic or research title when invited to present lectures to institutions or organizations.
This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2011.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.