Louisiana School 





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Legislative Actions

2020 LEGISLATIVE Session

Bills that LSPA Opposes & Rationale:

SB 128: Requires certain assessments prior to a suspension. This bill requires schools to screen students (e.g., with an ACEs screener) right after a disciplinary incident in which administrators are considering a suspension consequence; principals or their designees would use the screening results to inform decisions about whether to suspend the student(s). LSPA endorses alternatives to suspension and sensitivity to trauma, but finds that the requirements of this bill raise feasibility and ethics concerns.

HB 391: Addresses dyslexia screening, assessment, and intervention. Endorses an IQ-Achievement discrepancy approach to defining and diagnosing dyslexia, although extensive evidence refutes the diagnostic and treatment validity of the discrepancy approach. Requires dyslexia-specific screeners, although a variety of evidence-based screening tools are appropriate for identifying risk and informing intervention needs in reading and related skills. Requires schools to perform diagnostic dyslexia evaluations, bypassing 1508 evaluation procedures and our mandate to determine eligibility as opposed to rendering diagnoses.

HB 505: Establishes the licensed profession of art therapist. To protect the well-being of children, LSPA wants to ensure that anyone licensed to perform the services outlined in this bill (e.g., work through tragic events, conflict, grief, and complex emotions; enhance neurological, cognitive, and social skills) has extensive training certifying their relevant competencies.

HB 250: Provides relative to the prosecution of certain juveniles in adult criminal court for offenses involving a firearm. This bill rolls back elements of the "Raise the Age" reforms that LSPA previously endorsed. Juveniles have unique developmental characteristics warranting a unique process, separate from the adult system.

Bills that LSPA Supports & Rationale

HB 762: The bill aims to establish the Related Services Advisory Commission to study and make recommendations about the availability of related services for students with special needs and exceptionalities.


Bills that LSPA Opposed:

HB 511, became HB 898: LA School & Student Safety Act (Requires a threat Assessment, Mandatory Reporting to Law Enforcement and Mental Health evaluation of those representing threats).  *Passed, Now Act 716, Effective 8/1/2018

HB 766:  Behavioral health services for students provided by behavioral health providers working outside the school system during school hours.  Includes a psychiatrist, psychologist, medical psychologist, licensed specialist in school psychology, marriage and family therapist, professional counselor, clinical social worker, or behavioral health provider licensed to provide behavioral health services in Louisiana.  They may conduct a Behavioral Health Evaluation that includes diagnosis, type of intervention, length of intervention, identification of student goals, and identification of impact of student behavior on a student’s educational program not to supersede the authority of a student’s IEP or 504 service plan.  *Passed, Now Act 696, Effective 8/1/18

SB 303:  Criminalizes students in regards to Bullying (Passed in the Senate but involuntarily deferred in Committee/Dead)

HB 53:  Prohibits public employees from testifying in legislative committees (Failed to Pass 46-43)

SB 25:  Prohibits public employees from contracting lobbyists *Passed, Now Act 480, Effective 8/1/18

SB 178:  Allows for students to wear backpacks *Passed, now Act 523, Effective 5/23/2018

SB 298—School Safety Bill:  Allows teachers to have student removed to alternative school or police due to behavior threat and school safety concerns.  (Considered/Died in Committee)

HB 271: Concealed handgun on school property (Failed in Committee/Dead)

SB 84, became SB 563: Provides relative to the penalty for cruelty to a juvenile (Passed, Now Act 479, Effective 8/1/2018); SB 248:  Delays the Raise the Age Bill (from 17 to 18) to be prosecuted as adults that passed last year to 2019 and 2020 respectively *Passed, Now Act 654, Effective 6/1/2018

HB 294:—Changes “at risk” to economically disadvantaged revises definition of children

*Passed and is now Act 654, Effective 6/1/2018

2018 Regular Session Bills LSPA Endorsed:

SB 344:  Requires the LDOE to develop a model master plan for improving school climate and promoting student social, emotional, and behavioral health.  Now 29 members to also include the director of Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, the president of the Urban League of Louisiana, The president of MetroMorphosis, the president of the Louisiana Psychological Association, and the president of the Louisiana School Counselors Association (or their designees).  *Passed, Now Act 600, Effective 5/30/2018

SB 345:  School Master Plan for Supporting Student Behavioral Health. (Considered/Died in Committee)

HB 199:  Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K) task force. *Passed, Now Act 455, Section 1-3 effective 5/23/18; Section 4 Effective 3/1/2019

HB 148: “Zero Suicide Initiative” (State suicide prevention plan).  *Passed, Now Act 450, Effective 8/1/18

SB 228:  Prohibits schools that receive state funds from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation (Considered/Died in Committee)

2018 Regular Session Bills that LSPA neither opposed nor endorsed:

SB 301:  (Relative to Teacher Bill of Rights) allows teachers to use physical force against a student to protect themselves and/or call authorities for physical removal if imminent threat to the teacher or others; and the right to request the school principal to provide security in the classroom if in their professional judgment, imminent risks//threats exist. (Considered/Died in Committee)   

HB 145:  Provides limitations on diagnosing of disorder imposed on another (formerly known as “Munchausen syndrome by proxy”), and on circumstances in which state child welfare proceedings (child in need of care proceedings) may be initiated.  *Passed, Now Act 193, Effective 8/1/2018

SB 310:  Strengthens law requiring data collection and analysis for students with exceptionalities (Wants to withhold 10% of funds appropriated to the SDOE if student data is not reported as required by present law.  *Passed, Now Act 660, Effective 6/1/2018

HB 842:  Requires daily recess for public school students in grades k-8.  Present law requires at least 30 minutes a day of quality moderate physical activity for students.  This proposed an additional 30 minutes of recess as defined as a play environment outside of regular classroom instructional activities where students are allowed to engage in supervised, safe, and active free play. (Failed to pass 44-52)

HB 387:  Provides parent rights to review and receive copies of educational records within 10 business days of receipt of written request.  *Passed, now Act 547

HB 656:  Requires Universal Literacy Screening in grades 2-3 not later than 30 days after school starts.  If students score above grade level, they should be screened for Gifted; if they score below grade level, then consider additional resources.  State is looking at the numbers. *Passed, Now Act 688, Effective 8/1/2018

HB 627:  Relative to health conditions for which a recommendation of or prescription for medical marijuana in treating certain conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder.  *Passed and is now Act 496, Section 1 and 3 Effective 5/23/18; Section 2 and 4 will be Effective when DEA reclassifies marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.  Effective 1/1/2020, LSU Ag and Southern University Ag must submit a report to include data and outcomes of research conducted pursuant to this.

SB 152:  Release of school and district performance scores and letter grades rules using both old and new methodologies (from 2016-2017 and 2017-2018) and shall be displayed side by side to facilitate easy comparison.  *Passed, Now Act 522, Effective 5/23/2018

SB 224:  Display the US Motto “In God We Trust” in all public school buildings.  *Passed, now Act 410, Effective 5/23/2018*Bill Passed into Law


Act 130

In the 2016 Spring Regular Session, PSA filed two bills with the support of Representative Frank Hoffmann. HB 217 advocates for school psychologists and other qualified examiners under LA Bulletin 1508 guidelines to pursue Special Education Administration Certification and was passed by Governor Edwards as Act 130 May 19, 2016. Click here to view ACT 130.


Act 136

Eligibility for the Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) was signed by Governor Jindal (SB128) and it is now Act 136 of the 2014 Legislative Session.  The LSSP law took effect on August 1, 2014. Click here to view ACT 136.


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Louisiana School Psychological Association
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