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Specialized Instructional Support Personnel

Specialized Instructional Support Personnel: They are in your school every day.  Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP) work with teachers, school support staff, parents, community members, and other education stakeholders. They are key to making sure students have the services they need to succeed academically and socially, inside and outside the classroom. They work to remove barriers to student learning and include professionals such as school counselors, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, library media specialists, speech pathologists and others. They are categorized by the National Education Association (NEA) and other organizations as a “non-classroom educators.” While these jobs are essential to the academic success of students, many of these positions are being unwisely eliminated as a cost-cutting measure. Many of these professionals are nationally board certified public school employees in their respective fields.

SISP 2018 Compensation Report ( MS-WORD 209 KB, 2 pgs.) written by Collective Bargaining and Member Advocacy (report attached/needs URL)
SISP compensation is usually based on a salary schedule. Sometimes, SISP members are placed on the same salary schedule as teachers. Other times, some or all SISP job families are paid from a salary schedule developed solely for their job titles. Our research shows that in many cases, SISPs receive stipends based on their credentials in addition to their base salary. In some cases, the stipends are the same as those provided to national board certified teachers. These stipends vary significantly, and in many cases, are insufficient as an incentive due to the rigor and cost of participating in certification programs.

Specialized Instructional Support Personnel Help Students Cope Inside and Outside the Classroom
Educators are not the only ones that help students in their academic achievement throughout the day as many SISP's help students succeed inside and outside the classroom.

Term “SISP” Included in Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
As defined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), the term ‘specialized instructional support personnel’ means:
“school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists; and other qualified professional personnel, such as school nurses, speech language pathologists, and school librarians, involved in providing assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic, and other necessary services (including related services as that term is defined in section 602 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1401) as part of a comprehensive program to meet student needs.’’

Congress adopted the term with the passage of  ESSA, the reauthorized version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). “Specialized instructional support personnel” replaced “pupil services personnel.” The term was adopted a number of years ago by the National Alliance of Pupil Services Organizations, renamed as the National Alliance of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (NASISP). By finding one term that aptly describes student and related services, advocates are calling for these services to be available to students who need these supports. The term was selected to indicate personnel who have specialized training to support the instructional process, resulting in academic and social/emotional success for students. With this acknowledgment by Congress, educators and other advocates can meet with congressional staff to discuss issues and concerns related to SISPs.

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