THE NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Soon after Goals 2000—Educate America Act, became law in March 1994, the Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala, released a joint statement announcing a new level of cooperation between their two departments and affirming the importance of school health programs in accomplishing education goals. Their joint statement (U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, 1994) made the following points:

  • America's children face many compelling educational and health and developmental challenges that affect their lives and their futures.

  • To help children meet these challenges, education and health must be linked in partnership.

  • School health programs support the education process, integrate services for disadvantaged and disabled children, and improve children's prospects.

  • Reforms in health care and in education offer opportunities to forge the partnerships needed for our children in the 1990s.

  • Goals 2000 and Healthy People 2000 provide complementary visions that, together, can support our joint efforts in pursuit of a healthier and better-educated nation for the next century.

As part of this new level of cooperation, the secretaries announced the formation of an Interagency Committee on School Health (ICSH) and a National Coordinating Committee on School Health (NCCSH).

Federal Interagency Committee on School Health

The Interagency Committee on School Health consists of representatives from all federal agencies and offices that provide funding and other resources for programs related to school health. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has joined the initial efforts of the U.S. Department of Education (DOEd) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in convening the ICSH. The ICSH is concerned with all federal policies and programs related to school health, and its mission is to increase the overall effectiveness of federal agencies in this area. According to its charter (U.S. Department of Education et al., 1994), the ICSH will do the following:

  • Improve communication, planning, coordination, and collaboration among federal agencies engaged in ongoing activities of relevance to school health or planning such activities.

  • Identify needs and facilitate the planning and updating of strategies to improve federal leadership for school health.

  • Identify opportunities for federal policies to facilitate the develop-



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