Congress Finalizes 2002 Funding for Health Care and Education Major Increases Secured for ASHA Priorities including IDEA, Early Reading and Literacy Programs, EHDI and Research Funding Features
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Features  |   December 01, 2001
Congress Finalizes 2002 Funding for Health Care and Education
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Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / School-Based Settings / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News & Member Stories / Normal Language Processing / Features
Features   |   December 01, 2001
Congress Finalizes 2002 Funding for Health Care and Education
The ASHA Leader, December 2001, Vol. 6, No Pagination Specified. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR3.06232001.np
The ASHA Leader, December 2001, Vol. 6, No Pagination Specified. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR3.06232001.np
Congress has approved funding for programs operated by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education. On Wednesday, December 19th the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2002 by a margin of 393-30. The Senate considered and passed the same bill on Thursday, December 20th by a margin of 90-7. The bill now goes to President Bush, who is expected to sign it into law in the near future. The following are some highlights from this appropriations bill that impacts many ASHA members and has been the focus of targeted ASHA advocacy efforts this year.
Education
The appropriations legislation includes funding for many education programs, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Both programs are included in the bill.
Under IDEA, Congress approved several increases that should positively affect ASHA’s school-based members. The IDEA Part B Grants to States received a $1.118 billion or 19% increase over this year’s funding bringing the Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 appropriation to over $7.5 billion dollars. This continues the record increases in the Part B program over the past several years. Since IDEA was reauthorized in 1997, funding for Part B has nearly doubled from $3.8 billion in FY1998 to the current $7.5 billion for FY2002. The FY2002 funding level now brings the federal share of providing a free and appropriate education for disabled children to 17%. ASHA members are well versed on the fact that the federal government has promised to fund 40% of the costs of IDEA since the Act was first passed in 1976.
In addition to the large increase in state grants, ASHA successfully advocated for increases in the Part C Infants and Toddlers program and the Part D Personnel Preparation program. The Part C program will receive a record increase of a $33 million or 9% increase over this year’s funding level of $383 million. This represents a four-fold funding boost over last year’s appropriation and would bring funding for this early intervention program to $430 million for FY2002. ASHA argued that Part C funding is a key element in promoting the President’s early literacy programs to adequately identify, assess and provide appropriate intervention for young children with developmental and acquired communication disorders, and that greater funding for Part B needs to be coupled with corresponding increases in Part C for the program to be effective.
For the Part D Leadership and Personnel Preparation grant programs, ASHA members and staff helped to convince Congress to fund the program at $90 million for FY2002, a $8 million or 10% increase over this year’s funding. This is the first increase in funding for the Part D Personnel Preparation grant program in six years. Again, ASHA successfully argued that new education initiatives, such as the President’s early literacy programs and increases in Part B funding, will dramatically increase the need for qualified education personnel with specialized expertise in communication disorders, reading, and literacy improvement.
Finally, Congress approved funding for the new Early Reading First and Reading First literacy programs. The Early Reading First program will receive $75 million and the Reading First program will receive $900 million for FY2002. The Early Reading First program is a competitive grant program run by the U.S. Department of Education targeting children 3-5 years old. The Reading First program is a federal to state formula program with a subsequent intra-state competitive grant targeting children 6-8 years old.
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program, often referred to as the Walsh Bill, was increased from $14.3 million to $17.1 million. The program was originally established by Congress in 1999 with a funding level of $10 million. In the second year of the program, it was funded at $14.3 million. Fiscal Year 2002 will be the third and final year of the program, and the $17.1 million funding level exceeds the original goal of $15 million.
Research Funding
Fiscal Year 2002 is the fourth year of a five-year effort to double the funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Funding will be $232.8 million, a 13% increase of 29.9 million from the previous fiscal year. The National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) also received a double-digit increase of $4.1 million and will be funded at a level of $34.2 million for next year. This has been a particularly challenging year in which to achieve increases in programs such as health care and education because Congress and the Administration have focused on security related programs since the events of September 11. These funding increases are the result of advocacy conducted by ASHA members and leaders across the country as well as National Office staff. Another important tool in achieving legislative victories of this kind is the ASHA Political Action Committee (ASHA-PAC), which supports candidates who support ASHA priorities. For more information about IDEA and NIH funding, please contact Neil Snyder, ASHA’s Director of Federal Advocacy, by e-mail at nsnyder@asha.org or by phone at 800-274-2376, ext. 4257. For additional information on EHDI federal appropriations and contributing to ASHA-PAC, please contact Reed Franklin by email at rfranklin@asha.org or by phone at 800-274-2376, ext. 4473.
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December 2001
Volume 6, Issue 23