According to recent announcements, on Thursday, July 16, 2015, the United States Senate passed S 1177, its reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), an education bill also known as the Student Success Act, by a vote of 81–17. The ESEA reauthorization bill, or HR 5 bill, which will replace the No Child Left Behind Act, will now go to conference with the House of Representatives.
It has been reported that, as part of the debate, the Senate considered and passed an amendment authored by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to the literacy section of S 1177, ESEA. The amendment is intended to ensure that states and local school districts know that they can, as appropriate, include audiologists and speech-language pathologists in delivering literacy services in schools. This non-mandatory “allowable use” language inserts the term “specialized instructional support personnel” into the literacy section of S 1177 in five places. This new term replaces the antiquated term, “pupil services,” and designates a category of school-based professionals that includes audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and other professionals who would support learning in the area of literacy.
Sources: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM); Education and the Workforce