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School & Health: Our Nation's Investment
The NCCSH consists of organizations that have a local presence, such as the National Parent Teachers Association, National School Boards Association, American Medical Association, American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Nurses Association, National Associations of Elementary and Secondary School Principals, National Association of School Nurses, National Education Association, and the Council of Great City Schools, to name a few. Local communities can thus be connected to the NCCSH—and through the NCCSH to the ICSH—through these organizations. The committee suggests that the NCCSH should be considered the official advisory council to the ICSH and that participating NCCSH organizations should mobilize their memberships to promote the development of the comprehensive school health infrastructure at the state and local levels. The committee feels that the NCCSH currently may be limited in its influence because managed care, indemnity insurance providers, and others key to resolving critical financial issues seem to be missing from its membership; the committee suggests that the NCCSH might be strengthened by actively soliciting the participation of those with financial interests in CSHPs.
States can develop structures similar to the ICSH-NCCSH collaboration by establishing a state interagency coordinating council with regulatory powers. These councils could involve the major agencies that have a mandate for improving the health and education of students, along with an advisory council representing professional and voluntary health organizations, educational organizations, and others dedicated to the health, education, and welfare of children and families.
Federal Programs and Funding Streams for School Health
Many federal agencies have developed programs to improve the health of children and adolescents. These programs can be a source of funding and technical assistance that states and local communities can use to develop their infrastructure and to implement their programs. The following examples demonstrate the range of federal resources for school health. These examples are intended to be brief and illustrative; there are many additional programs. It should be noted that some of the following may be subject to change.
The U.S. Department of Education programs provide major sources of funding to the local level that can be used for school health programs. Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) gives grants to local education agencies based on the number of disadvantaged students they serve in order to help these students meet high academic standards. Title I funds may be used to provide educationally related support