- Who We Are
- Areas of Interest
- What We Do
- Press Room
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NASPE Holds 5th Annual SPEAK Out! Day;
Calling on Federal Leaders to Support PHYSICAL Act & Longstanding PEP Grant Program
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) & Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO 2nd) Honored as Health & PE Champions
RESTON,VA, March 18, 2013 – Facing the threat of school district cutbacks to their programs, physical education and health education teachers from around the country are coming to Washington, DC for their 5th annual SPEAK Out! Day, Wednesday, March 20. Organized by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), the health and physical educators are asking Congress to support the Promoting Health for Youth Skills in Classrooms and Life (PHYSICAL) Act as well as maintain funding for the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant. NASPE will also recognize U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO 2nd) for their demonstrated commitment and leadership in "speaking out" for physical education and physical activity. Both will be presented with SPEAK Out! Awards at a special luncheon on Capitol Hill.
"The need for health and physical education championslike Senator Harkin and Congressman Polis is greater than ever. With today's generation becoming the first to have a shorter life expectancy then their parents, with 70 percent of potential military recruits failing their physicals due to being overweight and with the cost of childhood obesity in America estimated at $270 billion annually, we simply can not afford to let physical education and health education fall to the wayside," says Carly Braxton, NASPE's Senior Manager of Government Relations. "Our hope is to educate legislators of the many benefits of maintaining quality P.E. and health programs in our schools and the vital need for their support."
NASPE applauds Senator Harkin for designating physical education as a core subject in his recently introduced Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention American (HeLP America) Act and for including physical education and health education provisions within the Senate's Elementary and Secondary Education Act during the 112th Congress. Senator Harkin has been a longstanding supporter of health, physical education, physical activity and wellness throughout his political career. Learn more about Senator Harkin.
Congressman Polis is being recognized for his leadership on the New Democrat Coalition and its Education Taskforce. The coalition acknowledges the critical role physical education and healtheducation play in a student's academic achievement and over-all health and wellbeing. The Congressman's recognition of the importance of a well-rounded and whole child education is to be commended. Read more about Congressman Polis.
The PHYSICAL Act (S. 392) was reintroduced to Congress in late February by U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). If passed, the bill would classify health and physical education as core subjects within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, allowing them to be eligible for federal funding under Title I and Title II. The monies would help school districts expand physical education and health education, leading to potential opportunities to dedicate weeklyphysical activity time, enhanced classroom instruction or development of creative health programs.
The organization's other main legislative ask onits upcoming advocacy day is for continued funding of PEP at its current levelof $78 million per year. The program provides grants to school districts and community-based organizations to support innovative physical education,nutrition and activity methods. PEP is the only federal funding dedicated tophysical education. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education awarded 56 grants totaling $27 million to school districts and community organizations that plan to implement comprehensive physical fitness and nutrition programs in addition to funding previously awarded grants that were in year's two and three of thegrant cycle.
Congressional leaders and staff, in turn, will have the opportunity to hear stories on the impact of PEP on the local level and learn more about the need for more stringent mandates for physical education and health education.
Follow the hashtag #physed on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook, to keep up with the latest on SPEAK Out! Day. To learn about thestatus of physical education in the U.S., visit the Shape of the Nation webpage to read the 2012 Shape of the Nation Report and to view NASPE's infographic.
For more details on SPEAK OUT! Day 2013, visit NASPE's events page.
Society of Health and Physical Educators