Speech and Language Services

Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and Speech Language Pathologist – Assistant (SLP-A)

In March 2020, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) informed LEAs that the temporary service delivery model using Speech Implementers would no longer be available after July 2022. DESE collaborated over the last two years with the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts (Board of Healing Arts), institutions of higher education, the Missouri Speech and Hearing Association (MSHA), and the Missouri School Boards’ Association Medicaid Consortium to increase and publicize the availability of state registered SLP-As, recent advancement in speech therapy telepractice, and expanded Medicaid billing.

Suggestions for developing a high quality Speech and Language program:

  1. Work with neighboring districts or local coops to pool resources and share an SLP or SLP-A.

  2. Ensure the salary for an SLP-A position is comparable to the rest of the professional salaries in the district. These graduates have a BS or a BA in Communication Disorders or Speech and Language Pathology.

  3. Review current caseloads, examine eligibility determinations and ensure your evaluation process truly meets the threshold of a language or speech disability including clear examples of adverse educational impact.

  4. Explore the option of providing speech and language therapies to your students by telepractice. There has been more training in the area of telepractice for related service professionals since spring 2020 and advancements have been made. Explore using telesupervision for district SLP-As in conjunction with organizations such as the Missouri School Boards' Association Medicaid Consortium. Districts can request Medicaid reimbursement for speech and language therapies provided to Medicaid eligible students. Several telepractice businesses assist with billing for Medicaid services.

  5. Use the resource document below which contains the contact information for various SLP-A undergraduate programs. Identify programs where district staff can get SLP-A licensure in a reasonable timeframe. Several programs are already online and we expect other online programs to become available.

  6. Find available SLP/SLP-As by contacting the career centers (resource below) at the universities. Posting your vacancy for an SLP or SLP-A on teacher employment websites will not reach SLPs and SLP-As looking for employment. Graduates entering the workforce as SLPs and SLP-As do not hold education degrees or certificates and are not associated with the colleges of education so they do not know about the usual job posting sites for teachers such as MO Teaching Jobs or MOREAP. 


Speech and Language Resources:

Telepractice Guidance (from the Missouri School Boards’ Association Medicaid Consortium)

University SLP-A Program comparison chart

University SLP-A Program and Career Center Contacts

Missouri Revised Statutes for SLP and SLP-A

Missouri State Code of Regulations: SLPs and SLP-As

Advisory Commission for Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists 

For questions regarding SLP/SLP-A registration, requirements, personnel, and supervision contact:

Board of Registration for the Healing Arts
3605 Missouri Boulevard
P.O. Box 4
Jefferson City, MO  65102
573.751.0098 Telephone
573.751.3166 Fax
800.735.2966 TTY
800.735.2466 Voice Relay


For questions regarding SLP/SLP-A retirement, contact the benefits counselor at:

Public School Retirement System of Missouri (PSRS)/ Public Education Employee Retirement System of Missouri (PEERS)

Requirements for LEAs who participated in the 2021/2022 SLP-A Financial Incentive:

Previously, DESE offered a financial incentive offer to LEAs whose employees successfully complete an SLP-A program and register with the Board of Healing Arts as an SLP-A before the 2022-23 school year began. Requirements for LEA who participated in the 2021/22 financial incentive program to submit a request for payment include:

  • Full name of the person or persons who registered before the beginning of the 2022/23 school year as an SLP-A with the Board of Healing Arts

  • A copy of each person’s SLP-A registration

  • A copy of each person’s employment confirmation letter or other documentation that shows they will work for the LEA in the 2022-23 school year

  • Documentation showing the amount the LEA put towards the SLP-A program.

  • The name of the program through which SLP-A credentials were earned


The matching funds will be paid to the LEA after all required documentation above has been submitted. LEAs should submit the required documentation to specialeducation@dese.mo.govInclude “SLP-A/LEA Financial Incentive” on the subject line. Include LEA name and contact information along with the required documentation.