Two bills introduced this year in Congress could benefit psychology graduate students by expanding training opportunities and student-parent services. However, according to Jennifer Smulson, APA's senior legislative and federal affairs officer, it is unlikely that Congress will pass either of them before 2007.
The first, introduced by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) in March, is an amendment to the Higher Education Act that would fund loan forgiveness for mental health providers who work with children and teens through the Loan Forgiveness for Service in Areas of National Need program. The amendment is drawn from a bill that Kennedy first sponsored in 2005--but that didn't pass--called the Child Health Care Crisis Relief Act, says Smulson.
Smulson says the amendment would offer valuable training and funding opportunities for psychologists.
The second bill,the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Students Act, was first introduced by Rep. Melissa Hart (R-Pa.) in the House and Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) in the Senate in November 2005. It would provide grants to uni-versities for services for pregnant students and student parents, such as child-care facilities and family housing. The House of Representatives adopted the bill as an amendment to the College Access and Opportunity Act of 2006.
However, Smulson says that it is unlikely that either bill will be approved by both the House and Senate this year because Congress is concentrating on higher-priority legislation, such