Congress Maintains Funding for Key Health and Education Programs

March 25, 2024

President Biden has signed into law the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 (H.R. 2882). H.R. 2882 will fund key health and education programs administered by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Funding 

The law preserves funding for IDEA to ensure students with disabilities receive the education and services they are legally entitled to and to enable school districts to better use scarce resources to support educational audiologists, school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs), and other professionals.  

  • $14.2 billion will be used for IDEA Part B (state grants), an increase of $20 million over the previous level. 
  • $420 million will be used for IDEA Section 619 (preschool grants), same as the previous level. 
  • $540 million will be used for IDEA Part C (infants and toddlers), same as the previous level. 
  • $115 million will be used for IDEA Part D section 662 (personnel preparation), same as the previous level. 

Congress directed the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to prioritize additional investments in doctoral-level personnel preparation in special education. OSEP specifically included communication sciences and disorders (CSD) programs in recent personnel preparation grants.  

Resources for Newborn Hearing Screening Programs 

The bill maintains funding for the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Act, which facilitates early screening, diagnosis, and treatment for infants and young children with hearing loss. ASHA has played a leading role in renewing the program and reducing disparities in pediatric hearing health care.  

  • $18.8 million, the same as last year, will be used for the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to fund state-based programs that facilitate screening, ensure timely audiological diagnostic evaluations, and connect families with crucial early intervention services. 
  • $10.7 million, the same as last year, will be used for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide technical assistance on data collection, management, and research to state-based EHDI programs. 

CSD and Rehabilitation Research 

The bill sustains funding for evolving CSD and rehabilitation research that makes effective communication more accessible and advances initiatives to support individuals with disabilities.  

  • $534.3 million will be used for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the same as last year. 
  • $119 million will be used for the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, the same as last year. 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) 

  • The bill provides $10 million for research on developmental delays, including speech and language delays in infants and toddlers. The bill urges NIH to support research to provide parents, teachers, providers, and caregivers with the information to help children with speech and language delays grow and thrive in school and other environments. 
  • The bill directs NIH to support research on the development of lower-cost and high-sensitivity prenatal diagnosis and newborn screening technologies to detect Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV). CMV is a common viral infection in infants that increases the risk of acquired hearing loss, delayed language acquisition and speech development, and other developmental challenges. The provision compliments ASHA-supported legislation, the Stop CMV Act, which would provide federal support for state-based efforts to expand access to newborn CMV screening. 

What Does This Mean?  

The passage of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 is beneficial for audiologists, SLPs, and everyone who relies on their services. Congress rejected efforts to slash these programs’ funding or impose across-the-board cuts. Congress also excluded harmful policy provisions that could have jeopardized access to gender-affirming voice therapy, blocked the Department of Education’s ability to provide student loan repayment relief, and rolled back efforts designed to promote equality and fairness in federal health and education programs.  

What’s Next? 

Congress will soon begin assembling bills that will fund these programs and agencies for the upcoming fiscal year that starts on October 1. ASHA will continue partnering with members to advocate for additional funding for these programs. ASHA will also fight for policies that provide better coverage of and payment for audiology and speech-language pathology services. Learn more about the 2024 advocacy priorities for audiologists and SLPs and take action to support these policies.   


Contact Kevin Stutman, ASHA's associate director of federal affairs, at  

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