Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) introduced the School-Based Asthma Management Program Act, which would help ensure that students with asthma have assistance at school with managing their chronic disease and can excel in an asthma-friendly environment.

“I’m proud to join with Dr. Roe today to introduce legislation encouraging states to implement asthma management programs that help schools keep students safe and reduce the number of days missed due to asthma. This builds on our work together to pass the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act in 2013,” stated Congressman Hoyer. “With nearly 7 million children in our country living with asthma, and with 14 million school days missed each year, we must do more as a country to help schools address the challenges this disease poses.  I look forward to working with Dr. Roe to build support among our colleagues to pass it.  Congress has a responsibility to help ensure that every child in America can access education safely and with the support needed to learn and succeed.”

“I’m glad to introduce this important bill with my friend and colleague, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer,” said Congressman Roe. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.9 percent of children between the ages of five and 14 years old and 8.6 percent of children between the ages of 15 and 19 have asthma. Further, 57.9 percent of children 18 and under with asthma have reported having one or more asthma attacks. As these statistics show, asthma impacts a significant percentage of school-aged children, and these students deserve to pursue their studies without fear an attack at school won’t be properly treated. The School-Based Asthma Management Program Act will help parents, students, teachers and school administrators have peace of mind and I look forward to working to get this bill passed.”

While the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services recommend that schools have comprehensive asthma management programs, most schools do not have such programs in place. The School-Based Asthma Management Plan Act would encourage states to implement these programs, maintain a supply of asthma-related rescue medications, and permit trained personnel to administer these life-saving drugs in an emergency so that schools are better equipped to help students with asthma manage their disease.  This legislation is endorsed by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and the National Association of School Nurses.