Advocacy News

Congress Passes Spending Bill for FY16

December 18, 2015

Congress passed an omnibus spending bill on December 18 that will fund the government through the remainder of FY2016.  The bill includes $47 million for the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant.  PEP grants were also funded at $47 million in FY2015.  This means that current PEP grantees who are in year three of their PEP grants during FY2016 will be able to receive their funding.  The U.S. Department of Education will have to determine what to do with the surplus of funding after current grantees are awarded their funds.   

Every Student Succeeds Act Signed by President

December 10, 2015

President Barack Obama delivered remarks and signed the Every Student Succeeds Act into law on December 10 at the White House. Watch the President's remarks and view the bill signing here.

Congratulations SHAPE America advocates! 

Every Student Succeeds Act Passes Senate

December 9, 2015

The U.S. Senate passed the Every Student Succeeds Act with a vote of 85-12, to replace No Child Left Behind as the new version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law on December 10. Click here to read SHAPE America's official statement on the bill.

Thank you to all the advocates that have attended a past SPEAK Out! Day and contacted their members of Congress in support of the inclusion of school health and physical education within this landmark bill!

ESEA Conference Report Passes House 

December 2, 2015

The House of Representatives passed the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act that was reported out of the conference committee in November, the Every Student Succeeds Act, on December 2.  The bill was passed with a vote of 359-64.  The Every Student Succeeds Act includes health and physical education in the definition of a "well-rounded education", making these subjects eligible uses of Title I and Title II funds.  There is also access to funding for school health and physical education within block grants that will be distributed to states within Title IV, the safe and healthy students program.

The Senate is expected to vote on the Every Student Succeeds Act on December 8.  Please ask your Senators to support the critical school health and physical education provisions within this bill!

ESEA Passes Conference Committee

November 19, 2015

The possibility of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) during this calendar year is looking more and more like a reality. Education leaders from the House and Senate have completed work this fall to come up with a compromise bill after the Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act and the House passed the Student Success Act this summer. A conference committee was named with leaders from each chamber to meet to provide amendments and to vote on this compromise bill.

The conference committee met on November 19th and passed ESEA legislation on a vote of 39-1. The final bill is expected to be released to the public at the end of November. While SHAPE America has not had the opportunity to read the legislative language yet, a number of Congressional champions for health and physical education were able to confirm the following details in the ESEA bill. 

The term "core subjects" in the bill has been changed to "well-rounded education subjects". Well-rounded education subjects will receive the same access to funding as the former core subjects received. Both health and physical education were included in the definition of well-rounded education subjects! 

The funding for PEP grants has been consolidated into large a block grant that will be distributed to states by a formula. School districts will then apply to states for funding. This funding within Title IV covers a number of school safety, health, technology and supplementary programs. While physical education will no longer have its own designated funding line as it did in the past with PEP, this will actually give health and physical education programs across the country access to MUCH more funding and increase potential to reach many more school districts with funding. The key will be to advocate on the state and local level to ensure that states and school districts are making an effort to use these funds for health and physical education.  

The House is expected to vote on the bill in the first week of December and the Senate shortly thereafter provided the House is able to pass the bill. Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to support these key health and physical education provisions within this landmark bill!


Every Child Achieves Act Passes in Senate

July 29, 2015

The Every Child Achieves Act passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote and supermajority to include health and physical education as core subjects and the reauthorization of the PEP grant. The Student Success Act passed the House on a last minute vote on strict party lines. The conference committee with education leaders from the House and Senate is expected to be assembled soon to come up with a compromise bill. Since the Senate bill was overwhelmingly bipartisan, it's likely that much of the bill will be retained during conference.

Student Success Act

February 27, 2015

On February 27, the House Education and Workforce Committee passed the Student Success Act which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and ultimately replace the No Child Left Behind Act. The bill was passed on party lines 21-16.

Chairman John Kline's (R-MN) bill makes no mention of health education and physical education and eliminates the PEP grant. The bill was scheduled for a flood vote in House on February 25th but the vote was pulled at the last minute due to lack of conservative Republican support for the bill. Visit the SHAPE America Legislative Action Center for updates on when the vote will be and how you can help to advocate for the inclusion of health education and physical education in the bill. 

Physical Education Congressional Briefing

September 25, 2013

AAHPERD and HealthCorps hosted The State of Health and Physical Education in Our Schools, a congressional briefing sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Marcia Fudge. 

To view the presentation click here.