Photo of US capitol building looking up

The President has signed into law the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act, or H.R. 2468. Introduced in 2019 by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-TN), the legislation has long been a priority for Allergy & Asthma Network and a host of healthcare and patient organizations.

This law provides increased grant preference to states that implement comprehensive school-based asthma and allergy management programs (SAMPRO).

SAMPRO will involve:

  • Keeping a student’s Asthma Action Plan or Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan in the school nurse’s office
  • Educating school staff how to manage and treat asthma and allergies, including administering medication in an emergency
  • Reducing potential allergy triggers in the school

We want to thank all the advocates who worked with us to help push this legislation toward the finish line! We also thank Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, who paved the way for passage in the Senate.

Your voices were heard via letters, emails and phone calls along with participation in our Allergy Asthma Day Capitol Hill (AADCH) every May. Your direct engagement with members of Congress and their staff raised awareness about the critical need for asthma and allergy disease management in schools and resulted in additional co-sponsors on the bill.

Phgoto of Steny Hoyer and Tonya Winders

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) and Tonya Winders, President and Chief Executive Officer, Allergy & Asthma Network

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) and Tonya Winders, President and Chief Executive Officer, Allergy & Asthma Network

Majority Leader Hoyer, who has asthma, discussed the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act at AADCH in 2019.

“Asthma is a growing challenge for a lot of young people,” Hoyer told advocates at a Congressional Lunch Briefing on Capitol Hill. “We need to make sure we have medications that will intervene in an asthma flare – and save lives. We need people trained to know what’s happening and how to help. That’s what this legislation does.”

Majority Leader Hoyer and Congressman Roe issued a news release on Dec. 17 praising Senate passage of the legislation. Below is a copy of the release:

Hoyer, Roe Praise Senate Passage of the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) and Congressman Dr. Phil Roe (TN-01) praised the Senate for passing H.R. 2468, the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act, their legislation to encourage schools to implement management plans to help students identify and control their asthma and allergies and reduce absenteeism. H.R. 2468 now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“I’m pleased that the Senate passed our bipartisan bill to ensure schools have adequate plans in place to help students control their asthma and allergies,” said Leader Hoyer. “Dr. Roe and I have worked for many years to address this important issue. In 2013, we worked to enact the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act to help schools make available emergency epinephrine to students experiencing severe allergic reactions at school. The School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act will build on this legislation and provide peace of mind to students and parents that their school is equipped to help in an emergency. This legislation will help ensure students can focus on learning and reduce absenteeism. I’m glad that the Senate passed our bill, and I look forward to the President signing it into law without delay.”

“I’m proud to work across the aisle with my friend and colleague, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, on this important issue,” said Rep. Roe. “In the U.S. there are about six million children under 18 who have been diagnosed with asthma. It is critical our schools are prepared to understand and address this condition to maintain student safety. The School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act will help school personnel and parents ensure students with asthma and other allergies adequately manage their condition so they can focus on their education with peace of mind. I look forward to President Trump signing this important bill into law.”

The Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services recommend that schools develop and maintain comprehensive management plans to support children with lower airway disorders, such as asthma, and help control their disorders while in school. Most schools, unfortunately, do not maintain such plans and are ill prepared for emergencies. These plans will not only improve children’s health, but they will also ensure that students are able to focus on learning while in school.

More than six million children in America suffer from asthma, one of the leading causes of school absenteeism, with an estimated 14 million days of school missed each year, according to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program.

The School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act has been endorsed by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and Allergy & Asthma Network.