GPE Gets Significant Boost in House!
The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee recently marked up its funding bill for the 2009 fiscal year. In the bill, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Subcommittee member and a real champion of the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) program included $4 million for GPE for FY 2009. A funding level of $4 million is a significant increase for GPE; in fact, it is more than double the amount the program received in recent years ($1.8 million for FY 2008 and FY 2007) due to budget cuts. The Senate’s comparable Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill provides flat funding of the GPE program, the same amount as the previous fiscal year. Although it provides less funding than the House bill, the Senate bill provides favorable language for the GPE program, which will be very helpful during conference when both the House and the Senate will reconcile funding differences between the two final approved appropriations bills, either in November or perhaps February given this is an election year.
APA ED Government Relations staff has been working hard along with members of its Federal Education Advocacy Grassroots network to gain increased funding for the GPE program. A significant increase in appropriations for GPE could provide more funding for currently existing GPE grants as well as increase the number of available grants, as well. GPE grants provide interdisciplinary training for psychologists to provide mental and behavioral health care services to underserved populations, such as older adults, children, chronically-ill persons, and victims of abuse or trauma, including returning military personnel.