Congress Completes Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Work, Includes Key Wins for PA Education 

On March 23, President Biden signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024, into law, completing the budget and appropriations process for fiscal year (FY) 2024 and providing full year funding for all federal agencies through September 30. Thanks to the work of PA faculty and students throughout the past year during in-person Hill Days and via PAEA’s Grassroots Action Network campaigns, funding legislation for FY24 included a number of victories for PA education in spite of an increasingly challenging fiscal environment. 

National Health Services Corps Increase

Throughout 2023 and early 2024, one of PAEA’s highest priorities has been securing an increase in mandatory funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship and loan repayment programs, which were up for reauthorization beginning in fall 2023. The NHSC represents one of the largest sources of federal investment in health professions training and workforce distribution with nearly 1,000 PA students participating in the scholarship program and 1,500 PA graduates participating in loan repayment options. As the result of persistent advocacy from stakeholders, Congress included a $35 million increase in the annual mandatory funding stream for the NHSC in its FY24 appropriations legislation, rising from $310 million to $345 million.  

While this is a significant victory, the work of the PA education community on the NHSC is not yet complete. In the final FY24 legislation, Congress extended mandatory funding through December 31, 2024 – requiring further action following the 2024 elections to avert a funding lapse. Throughout the remainder of 2024, PAEA’s Government Relations team will continue facilitating opportunities for faculty and students to urge their representatives to enact a long-term reauthorization of the program at an increased mandatory funding level to maximize the reach of the program. 

Protection of Title VII Programs

Beyond the NHSC, PA education advocates also participated in campaigns during the FY24 appropriations process to protect funding for Title VII health workforce investments administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration. These programs, including Primary Care Training and Enhancement grants, Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students, the Health Careers Opportunity Program, and Area Health Education Centers, play a critical role in increasing clinical rotation availability and expanding pathways to the profession for economically and educationally disadvantaged students. 

Despite a cut to the overall funding level provided to the Department of Health and Human Services compared to FY23, all Title VII programs that benefit PA education were shielded from cuts in the final FY24 spending agreement. A particular victory for health professions education is the protection of the Health Careers Opportunity Program, which was proposed for elimination in the House’s initial FY24 legislation and invests in the diversity of the future PA workforce. 

Community Project Funding

In addition to Title VII programs that fund competitive grants, PA education also saw a significant win in the final FY24 appropriations agreement via the community project funding request process. Community project funding, often referred to as earmarks, provides members of Congress with an opportunity to secure direct support for projects of importance in their states/districts. This year, Hawaii Pacific University successfully secured a $1.8 million award to support the development of its PA program. Hawaii Pacific University joins several other PA programs including Mississippi State University – Meridian, Saint Francis University, and Touro University California that have successfully received community project funding requests in recent years. 

The Government Relations team would like to thank all PA faculty and students who have engaged in grassroots advocacy for FY24 for their efforts. A Forum Hill Day is planned as part of this year’s PAEA Education Forum. Watch for details as this year’s schedule for the Education Forum, which will take October 6-10 in Washington, DC, are released. Members with questions about future advocacy opportunities or the appropriations process are invited to contact Tyler Smith at