THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1274

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to psychology.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


PART I

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that properly licensed school psychologists provide effective services to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally by providing direct educational and mental health services for children and youth, as well as working with parents, educators, and other professionals to create supportive learning and social environments for all children.

Currently, Hawaii is the only state without certification or licensure for school psychologists. Without licensing, the State cannot ensure that functioning school psychologists are properly qualified and delivering appropriate services. In addition, the State's failure to properly license school psychologists means that by law the State is unable to seek reimbursements from the federal medicaid program for the use of school psychologists in an educational setting. Consequently, it is necessary to establish a licensure program to ensure the employment of qualified school psychologists and to allow schools using school psychologists to properly seek available federal medicaid funds.

The legislature further finds that a proper licensing program requires establishing meaningful criteria and guidelines for the licensure of school psychologists. The National Association of School Psychologists' Standards for the Credentialing of School Psychologists provides a model upon which these guidelines may in part be based. The National Association of School Psychologists' Standards create a set of national standards that can serve to regulate the credentialing of school psychologists. School psychologists who hold a National Association of School Psychologists credential have met these national standards.

The legislature finds that accredited school psychologists should be licensed by, and registered with, the board of psychology to ensure the delivery of quality services to students and the community. The legislature additionally finds that school psychologists and the practice of school psychology should be subject to regulation and control to protect the public from the unqualified practice of school psychology and from unprofessional conduct by persons licensed to practice school psychology.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish the recommended criteria for the licensure of school psychologists, including graduate coursework, practica, and internship requirements based in part on the National Association of School Psychologists' Standards.

SECTION 2. Chapter 465, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Part      . School Psychologists

465-   Findings and declaration of necessity. It is the intent of the legislature to establish standards for the licensing of school psychologists to address the present and critical need for ensuring that individuals requiring the services of a licensed school psychologist receive appropriate services by highly qualified and licensed professionals. The special state interest for creating this part is recognized, notwithstanding the requirements of section 26H-6.

465-   Definitions. As used in this part:

"Accredited educational institution" means a university or college accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or a comparable regional body.

"Approved private school" means any educational institution that is licensed or accredited by the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools.

"Developmental center" means any facility that offers developmentally appropriate psychological, educational, social, adaptive, language, or motor skills training or psychoeducational and multidisciplinary diagnostic services to special needs children or developmentally disabled adults.

"Practice of school psychology" means the application of principles, methods, and procedures of measurement, prediction, evaluation, testing, counseling, consultation, and instruction related to, and consistent with, the national standards articulated by the most current Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services, as published by the National Association of School Psychologists or its successor, in a school setting. "Practice of school psychology" does not include private practice.

"School psychologist" means a person licensed by the board who engages in the practice of school psychology consistent with the national standards articulated by the most current Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services as published by the National Association of School Psychologists or its successor. "School psychologist" includes a school psychologist-doctorate and a school psychologist-specialist.

465-   School psychologists; regulation; qualifications. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, school psychologists in the State shall be licensed by the board and regulated pursuant to this part.

(b) No applicant shall be licensed to engage in the practice of school psychology unless the applicant meets the following qualifications:

(1) Has received a specialist-level degree or doctoral degree from an organized program of study in school psychology within an accredited educational institution, consisting of a minimum of sixty semester hours consistent with the National Association of School Psychologists' standards for graduate preparation of school psychologists, and:

(A) Has completed one thousand two hundred hours of supervised internship in school psychology with no less than six hundred hours completed within a school setting; and

(B) Has passed the School Psychology Praxis examination with a minimum score of one hundred forty-seven or the most current standard of the National Association of School Psychologists; or

(2) Holds a current, unencumbered certificate as a nationally certified school psychologist or a valid license or credential in school psychology in another state or United States territory prior to July 1, 2022; provided that for those employed as a school psychologist in Hawaii as of July 1, 2022, an out-of-state license or credential that has been expired for no more than ten years from July 1, 2022, shall also be accepted.

(c) Before any applicant shall be eligible for licensure under this part, the applicant shall file an application in a form prescribed by the board and pay an application fee and all other applicable fees.

465-   Fees; disposition. (a) Upon application for a new license and at each biennial renewal, each applicant shall pay a license fee of $           and a compliance resolution fund fee of $          . Application fees paid pursuant to this part shall not be refundable. Fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the compliance resolution fund established pursuant to section 26-9(o).

(b) Every school psychologist holding a license under this part shall renew the license with the board no later than June 30 of each even-numbered year. Every school psychologist shall pay a renewal fee and comply with the continuing education requirements provided in rules adopted by the board pursuant to chapter 91.

(c) A school psychologist shall meet the continuing education requirements by obtaining twenty-five credit hours accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists annually, as provided in the board's rules. To determine compliance, the board may conduct a random audit. A school psychologist selected for audit shall be notified by the board. Within sixty days of notification, the school psychologist shall provide to the board documentation to verify compliance with the continuing education requirements.

(d) Failure to renew, pay the renewal fee, and, in the case of audited school psychologists, provide documentation of compliance shall constitute a forfeiture of license, which may be restored only upon the submission of written application therefor, payment to the board of a restoration fee, and, in the case of audited school psychologists, documentation of compliance.

465-   Description of services. (a) A person practices as a school psychologist if the person delivers services to children and students from birth through college who are eligible to be enrolled in educational and intermediate educational units, special education programs, universities and colleges, early intervention programs, developmental centers, and approved private schools. School psychologists are limited to practicing within these settings, and licensure does not allow for private practice.

(b) Services delivered pursuant to this section are articulated under the domains of the National Association of School Psychologists' Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services, as may be amended, which represents the National Association of School Psychologists' official policy regarding the delivery of school psychological services and the ethical standards developed and published by the National Association of School Psychologists.

465-   Practice of school psychology; license required. (a) Beginning on July 1, 2024, no person shall engage in the practice of school psychology or represent, announce, or advertise oneself, publicly or privately, as a "licensed school psychologist" or "school psychologist" or affix any other words, letters, abbreviations, or insignia to the person's name indicating or implying that the person is engaged in the practice of school psychology, without having first obtained a license as provided in this part.

(b) A person who is a student in an accredited school psychology program may use a title of "school psychology intern" or "school psychology practicum student" that indicates the person's training status; provided that the person shall not identify the person's self as a "licensed school psychologist" or "school psychologist" or imply that the person is licensed to practice school psychology.

(c) Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a fine of no more than $1,000 for each separate offense. Each day of each violation shall constitute a separate offense.

465-   Advising the board of psychology. The board shall receive advice and review proposals from the Hawaii Association of School Psychologists regarding issues relating to school psychologists and the practice of school psychology.

465-   Grounds for refusal to renew, reinstate, or restore a license and for denial, revocation, suspension, or condition of licenses. (a) In addition to other acts or conditions provided by law, the board may refuse to renew, reinstate, or restore and may deny, revoke, suspend, or condition in any manner any license for any one or more of the following acts or conditions on the part of a licensee or an applicant for a license:

(1) Failing to meet or maintain the conditions and requirements necessary to qualify for the granting of a license;

(2) Engaging in false, fraudulent, or deceptive advertising, or making untruthful or improbable statements;

(3) Engaging in the practice of school psychology while the ability to do so is impaired by alcohol, drugs, physical disability, or mental instability;

(4) Procuring a license for the practice of school psychology through fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit;

(5) Aiding and abetting an unlicensed person to directly or indirectly perform activities requiring a license;

(6) Engaging in professional misconduct, incompetence, gross negligence, or manifest incapacity in the practice of school psychology;

(7) Engaging in conduct or practice contrary to recognized standards of ethics for the practice of school psychology;

(8) Violating any condition or limitation imposed on a license for the practice of school psychology by the board;

(9) Engaging in the practice of school psychology in a manner that causes injury to one or more members of the public;

(10) Failing to comply with, observe, or adhere to any law in a manner such that the board deems the applicant or holder to be an unfit or improper person to hold a license;

(11) Revocation, suspension, or other disciplinary action by another state or federal agency against a licensee or applicant for any reason provided by the licensing laws or this section;

(12) Criminal conviction, whether by nolo contendere or otherwise, of a penal crime directly related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of school psychology, notwithstanding any statutory provision to the contrary;

(13) Failing to report to the board, in writing, any disciplinary decision issued against the licensee or the applicant in another jurisdiction within thirty days after the disciplinary decision is issued;

(14) Employing, using, or attempting to employ or use at any time any person not licensed under this chapter where licensure is required; or

(15) Violating this part, chapter 436B, or any rule or order of the board.

(b) Any licensee or applicant who violates this section may also be fined no less than $100 and no more than $1,000.

465-   Exemption. This part is not intended to restrict the practice of other licensed or credentialed practitioners practicing within their own recognized scopes of practice in educational settings. This part shall not apply to any person working within the scope of practice or duties of another licensed profession that overlaps with the practice of school psychology; provided that the person does not use the title "school psychologist" or "licensed school psychologist"."

SECTION 3. Chapter 465, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by designating sections 465-1 to 465-15 as part I and inserting a title before section 465-1 to read as follows:

"Part I. General Provisions"

SECTION 4. Section 465-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) This chapter shall not apply to:

(1) Any person teaching, lecturing, consulting, or engaging in research in psychology insofar as the activities are performed as part of or are dependent upon employment in a college or university; provided that the person shall not engage in the practice of psychology outside the responsibilities of the person's employment;

(2) Any person who performs any, or any combination of the professional services defined as the practice of psychology under the direction of a licensed psychologist in accordance with rules adopted by the board; provided that the person may use the term "psychological assistant", but shall not identify the person's self as a psychologist or imply that the person is licensed to practice psychology;

(3) Any person employed by a local, state, or federal government agency in a [school psychologist or] psychological examiner position, or a position that does not involve diagnostic or treatment services, but only at those times when that person is carrying out the functions of such government employment;

(4) Any person who is a student of psychology, a psychological intern, or a resident in psychology preparing for the profession of psychology under supervision in a training institution or facility and who is designated by a title as "psychology trainee", "psychology student", "psychology intern", or "psychology resident", that indicates the person's training status; provided that the person shall not identify the person's self as a psychologist or imply that the person is licensed to practice psychology;

(5) Any person who is a member of another profession licensed under the laws of this jurisdiction to render or advertise services, including psychotherapy, within the scope of practice as defined in the statutes or rules regulating the person's professional practice; provided that, notwithstanding section 465-1, the person does not represent the person's self to be a psychologist or does not represent that the person is licensed to practice psychology;

(6) Any person who is a member of a mental health profession not requiring licensure; provided that the person functions only within the person's professional capacities; and provided further that the person does not represent the person to be a psychologist, or the person's services as psychological;

(7) Any person who is a duly recognized member of the clergy; provided that the person functions only within the person's capacities as a member of the clergy; and provided further that the person does not represent the person to be a psychologist, or the person's services as psychological;

(8) Any psychologist employed by the United States Department of Defense, while engaged in the discharge of the psychologist's official duty and providing direct telehealth support or services, as defined in section 431:10A-116.3, to neighbor island beneficiaries within a Hawaii National Guard armory on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, Molokai, or Maui; provided that the psychologist employed by the United States Department of Defense is credentialed by Tripler Army Medical Center; or

(9) Any supervisee of a licensed psychologist as defined in section 465D‑7."

SECTION 5. Section 465-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"465-4 Board of psychology; appointment, qualifications, term, expenses. There is created a board of psychology consisting of [seven] nine members. There shall be five members representing varied specialties of the profession, each of whom shall be licensed to practice psychology under this chapter and have a minimum of five years of post-doctoral professional experience, two members who are licensed to practice school psychology under part      , and two lay members from the community at large[.]; provided that of the initial licensed school psychologist appointees, one shall be appointed for a three-year term. A lay member shall not be a psychologist, an applicant, or former applicant for licensure as a psychologist."

PART II

SECTION 6. Section 26H-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"26H-4 Repeal dates for newly enacted professional and vocational regulatory programs. (a) Any professional or vocational regulatory program enacted after January 1, 1994, and listed in this section shall be repealed as specified in this section. The auditor shall perform an evaluation of the program, pursuant to section 26H-5, prior to its repeal date.

(b) Chapter 465D (behavior analysts) shall be repealed on June 30, 2021.

(c) Chapter 466L (appraisal management companies) shall be repealed on June 30, 2023.

(d) Chapter 457J (midwives) shall be repealed on June 30, 2025.

(e) Part      of chapter 465 (school psychologists) shall be repealed on June 30, 2029."

PART III

SECTION 7. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 8. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 9. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 10. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021; provided that all school psychologists employed by the department of education shall be licensed by July 1, 2024.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

School Psychologists; Licensure; Board of Psychology; Composition; Requirements

 

Description:

Establishes licensure requirements for school psychologists to be administered by the board of psychology. Requires all school psychologists to be licensed by July 1, 2024. Increases the composition of the board of psychology to include two school psychologists.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.