Press Release


SHAPE America Salutes Inclusion of Physical Education as a Core Subject

RESTON, VA, April 8, 2015 — The push to get America's 50 million students healthy and physically active took a giant step forward yesterday when proposed federal legislation included physical education as a core subject for the first time ever.  

On April 7, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced bipartisan legislation, the "Every Child Achieves Act of 2015." This new Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) proposal aims to elevate the role of physical education as an academic subject in today's schools. 

"We applaud the Senate HELP Committee for recognizing the importance of physical education as a key component of a well-rounded education," says SHAPE America Chief Executive Officer E. Paul Roetert, Ph.D. "Physical educators are uniquely qualified to help students gain the knowledge and skills needed to value a healthy and physically active lifestyle." 

For SHAPE America, the designation of physical education as a core subject has been a top legislative priority for the past five years. Physical educators from across the country have communicated relentlessly with their members of Congress and participated in the organization's annual advocacy event — SPEAK Out! Day — to create this groundswell of support.  

Over the past two decades, physical education has undergone a transformation in rigor and focus. It is now recognized as essential to a young person's overall education experience and a foundation for lifelong healthy living. Research shows a positive relationship between participation in physical education and academic achievement. The inclusion of physical education as a core subject in federal legislation will help to ensure that every student achieves success.


About SHAPE America
SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit