On December 22, 2020, the Ohio Senate approved an amended HB 442, which pertains to licensing within the State of Ohio. The bill is now on the Governor’s desk, awaiting his anticipated signature.
What does HB 442 mean for OSSPEAC members? Every 3 years, the Legislature is required to review each state license to determine if that license is still necessary, too restrictive, or redundant. ODE licenses were up for review this year, and the legislative committee doing the review determined that ODE licensure for SLPs, Audiologists, OTs, and PTs was redundant, since each profession has its own licensing board. As a result, SLPs and Audiologists will no longer be required to hold ODE licenses to work in schools. A provision was made for “registration” of the members of the professions so that ODE can do background checks. The amended bill defines “teacher” as “any person paid from public funds and employed under the public schools … under any kind of contract… in a position for which the person is required to have a license or registration…” This means that SLPs and Audiologists can still be employed under their existing contracts, although they will no longer hold an ODE educational license.
OSSPEAC and OSHGAC actively involved in discussion with ODE and the SHP Board regarding new questions raised by this change, including:
1. How will adequate preparation for working in schools be ensured (e.g. knowledge of special education law and case management, curriculum, etc.)?
2. How will this affect SLP and Audiology training programs? Will training in educational settings (which constitute the majority of speech-language pathology practice in the state) be consistent across universities?
3. Could this change the status of educational SLPs and AuDs to become more like that of psychologists, who are employed under administrative contracts?
4. What will the registration process look like and to whom will it apply? Will currently employed professionals be required to “register” or only new hires?
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