Historically the funding for school based alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention has been authorized as the Safe and Drug Free Schools program, which is included in Title IV (A) of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. Congress is currently considering legislation to reauthorize the entire NCLB law, which is now being called the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
CADCA has been working to ensure that all versions of the ESEA reauthorization, being considered by Congress, contain as much of a focus as possible on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use prevention and intervention in the section of the bill that has been Title IV (A). The Senate bill now being considered (S.1094) has the following provisions in Title IV of that bill that CADCA worked to get included:
1) a requirement for states to continue to collect the core data set for alcohol, tobacco and other drug use that is in current law (Title IV(A) of NCLB), and includes incidence, prevalence, age of onset, perception of harm and perception of social disapproval of drug use);
2) an explicit definition of drug prevention which lays out the following core components of drug prevention activities: raising awareness about the costs and consequences of drug use and abuse; changing attitudes, perceptions and social norms about the dangers and acceptability of drug use; and reducing access to and the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; and
3) the inclusion of drug prevention, as defined above, in the combined category for drug and violence activities that can be implemented at the LEA level.
The House-passed version of the ESEA Reauthorization, H.R. 5, does not contain any discrete focus on substance use/abuse prevention or intervention and also eliminates the requirement for the collection of the core data set of incidence, prevalence, age of initiation, perception of harm and perception of social disapproval.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO/TIMING
Fax the members of your congressional delegation as soon as possible. Ask them to ensure that the final version of ESEA Reauthorization: 1) maintains the requirement in current law for the collection of the core data for ATOD; and 2) includes substance use/abuse prevention and intervention as a discrete priority for emphasis in the new Title IV.
To send a fax to your members of Congress, go to http://cqrcengage.com/cadca/home/.
If you would like to personalize your letter with examples from your state/community, please email email@example.com for a MS Word version of the sample letter.