Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program FY 2008 Funding
Since the FY 2006 cut of $1.6 billion from the Labor-Health & Human Services-Education in which over 50% of the Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr) funding was eliminated ($150 million), it has been very difficult for Congress to restore those funds. Nevertheless, the House and Senate Labor-Health & Human Services-Education bills for FY 2008 contain $228 million for the BHPr Health Professions Programs, an increase of almost 24% primarily for the Diversity Programs. No increase was designated for the GPE Program nor the other individual health professions programs.
Once again the GPE Program had broad, bipartisan support in both the House and Senate but unfortunately there was no "die-hard" champion and the program, received a modest increase of $200,000 (to restore the small across-the-board cuts) for FY 2008 at $2 million. The good news is that funding for the GPE Program was provided for in both the House and Senate Labor-Health & Human Services-Education Subcommittee bills.
Nevertheless, Senator Durbin again sponsored a "Dear Colleague" in the Senate and other Senate support included Senators Harkin (D-IA), Chair of the Labor- Health & Human Services-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Specter (R-PA), Ranking Member of the Labor- Health & Human Services-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Domenici (R-NM), Kohl (D-WI) Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Reed (D-RI). In addition a number of other Senators signed onto the Dear Colleague letter, including: Senators Bingaman D-NM), Lieberman (I-CT), Feingold (D-WI), Cardin (D-MD), Wyden (D-OR), Schumer (D-NY), Stabenow (D-MI), Kennedy (D-MA), Bayh (D-IN), Snowe (D-ME), Clinton (D-NY), Brown (D-OH)and Biden (D-DE). In the House, support was expressed by Congresswomen DeLauro A(D-CT), Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Lowey (D-NY) as well as Congressmen Lewis (R-CA), Walsh (R-NY), Jackson (D-IL), Kennedy (D-RI) and Ryan (D-OH).
We want to express our appreciation to the thousands of APA members who responded to our Action Alerts. In addition, we want to thank the members of the Federal Education Advocacy Coordinators (FEDAC) grassroots network and current and former GPE grantees who reached out to their Members of Congress. And we want to express our gratitude to the many individuals who made a special effort to help us: Alan Kazdin, PhD (APA President Elect), Mardi Allen, PhD, Katie Cherry, PhD, Natalie Duke, PhD, Jerry Grammer, PhD, Paula Hartman-Stein, PhD, Gloria Khan, PhD, Maureen Lacy, PhD, Carl Lejuez, PhD, Marsha Linehan, PhD, Ed Nightingale, PhD, Ned Siegel, PhD, and Jeanne Wurmser, PhD. It is precisely because of all their personal emails, phone calls and hill visits that the GPE Program survived despite an extremely tight budget and a very competitive appropriations process.
A big coup for the GPE Program was a result of a last minute ED GRO advocacy effort. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) successfully offered an amendment to the Senate Military Construction VA Appropriations bill on the Senate Floor on September 5, 2007 to allow the transfer of up to $5 million to HRSA for the GPE Program for a focus on returning military personnel with PTSD, TBI or post-deployment readjustment problems. There was a subsequent meeting with Toni Zeiss, PhD, Deputy Director, VA Mental Health to discuss a Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies on use of funds. The House also included report language in its Military Construction VA Appropriations bill. Congressmen Sam Farr (D-CA) and Bill Young (R-FL) and Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) all expressed support to the subcommittee chairman. All of these Members of Congress were honored by the Education Directorate over the past few years. APA Members instrumental in securing support include President-Elect Alan Kazdin, PhD, Luli Emmons, PhD, Gloria Khan, PhD, and Herb Goldstein, PhD.