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Support the inclusion of physical education and health education as curricular subjects during the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization process. The recent flexibility bill passed by the House Education and Workforce Committee purports to allow states and districts great leeway in spending federal education dollars on programs authorized under ESEA that would most benefit their students. However, the omission of physical education and health education as "core" academic subjects restricts states and districts—these subject areas are not allowable uses for the flexibility dollars. This critical omission must be corrected to help students receive a complete education.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI-3) have introduced legislation to support and promote quality physical education within ESEA. S. 576 and HR. 1057 would require all schools, districts, and states to report the amount of time spent in required physical education on their Title I report cards, making this information available to parents and the public. FIT Kids also supports professional development for teachers and principals to promote healthy lifestyles and physical activity. Please contact your legislators and ask them to co-sponsor this important bill!
The Senate Appropriations Committee has voted to collapse the Center for Disease Control's DASH funding into a chronic disease state block grant, putting at risk DASH's funding to state education agencies for coordinated school health programs. Tell your Senators and Representatives to continue funding DASH.
Physical Education and Health Education as Core Subjects - Senator Tom Udall has introduced legislation to make physical education and health education core academic subjects within ESEA. S. 392 would also reauthorize PEP as a stand-alone program, create a new health education grant similar to PEP and make some changes in the Department of Education to emphasize PE and health education. Please contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor this important bill!
Both quality physical education and health education are critical components of educating the whole child, helping students to become health literate, understand the benefits of a physically active lifestyle, model and practice healthful behaviors, and adopt a lifelong commitment to healthy living. Please support the inclusion of physical education and health education as curricular subjects during the ESEA reauthorization process.
On February 11, the House of Representatives passed a package of spending reductions that included language de-funding the PEP program for 2011. It's now up to the U.S. Senate to save PEP! Please contact your Senators and urge them to continue to fund this critically important program.
Senator Harkin has introduced legislation in support of the federal Safe Routes to School program (S. 800). The bill proposes sustaining the program at the current funding level of $183 million and would make some policy tweaks to strengthen the program. Please contact your Senators today to ask them to cosponsor this important legislation.