Funding boosts for CDC, REACH, and Title IV-A to support Health Education in Schools
Washington, D.C. – On March 21, Congressional leaders reached an agreement on an omnibus spending package to fund federal agencies and programs through the remainder of FY2018. Overall, the Society for Public Health Education’s (SOPHE) appropriations priorities fared well as several critical public health programs and agencies received funding boosts in the bill.
SOPHE is pleased that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received an appropriation of $8B, a more than $1B increase over FY17. This increase includes $210M for CDC Tobacco Prevention, SOPHE’s ask at the 2017 Advocacy Summit and a more than $5M increase. With regard to the CDC Injury Center, the bill provides $350M in new funding for prescription drug overdose prevention. The bill also contains language clarifying that the “Dickey Amendment” does not prohibit CDC from awarding grants to study gun violence – in line with SOPHE’s resolution on gun violence prevention.
SOPHE is also pleased that the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program received $50.95M, after being eliminated in the President’s request and initial drafts of both the House and Senate appropriations bills. The REACH program is the nation’s only community-based program that addresses racial and ethnic health disparities in urban and rural areas.
For the past two years SOPHE has been advocating for additional funding for the Title IV-A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program. Initially Congress allocated $400M for the program, far short of the $1.6B that was authorized in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), for which SOPHE advocated for the inclusion of health education as a well-rounded subject. The $1.1B funding level in FY18 represents a 250 percent increase from FY17 levels, which should allow the program to operate across the nation and allow school districts to implement their well-rounded education programming, including health education.
Last, but not least, SOPHE and its advocacy partners were successful in stripping out language from the House bill that would have exempted “premium cigars” and unregulated tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from the Tobacco Control Act’s premarket review requirement by exempting them from FDA’s “deeming” proposal.
The House just voted to pass the omnibus and a vote in the Senate is expected by the end of the week when the current Continuing Resolution expires.
Contact: Cicily Hampton, PhD, MPA, Senior Director, Health Science & Policy | 202.408.9804 | CHampton@SOPHE.org