In the Oct 18 Point of View “ Why North Carolina needs more psychologists,” it was pointed out that “there are not nearly enough psychologists and other behavioral health professionals to meet the demand for services in our state.”
According to the 2014 salary schedules, all educators paid on the teacher pay scale receive raises at years five, 10, 15, 20 and 25 (making up six salary tiers). The school psychologists, speech-language pathologists and master’s level audiologists, however, receive no raise at year 25 (and have only five salary tiers).
Only a fraction of students in need of mental health services actually receive those services, and among those who do, the majority access services in school. School psychologists provide the bridge of support between the student’s educational needs and his mental health needs. Twenty school districts in North Carolina have no school psychologist on staff.
It is my hope that our salary schedule can be fixed to at least include a sixth tier and pay raise at year 25, as other educators earn. If this does not happen, North Carolina will have even more difficulty attracting school psychologists to our state and keeping those we have.