Title IV, Part A Appropriate Use of Funds
For nearly a decade, members of SHAPE America have worked with Congress and the US Department of Education in an effort to provide schools and districts with the resources necessary to provide students with a well-rounded education – including health education and physical education. With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the creation of Title IV, Part A - Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, we believe the Congressional intent of this legislation has benefited states as they implement ESSA and create policies and programs that boost academic achievement and life-long skills for student success.
Additionally, the focus on students' physical and mental health as a foundation for learning has been a welcomed change from prescriptive measures in the past. The flexibility allowed to states and school districts to address a well-rounded education, safe and healthy students programs and technology under Title IV, Part A is a critical component of the Congressional intent of ESSA that should not be overlooked.
For the US Department of Education to deviate from this progress by considering the use of these funds to purchase firearms for schools, is not only detrimental to school communities and educators, but would derail progress the education community is making on behalf of our students through ESSA and furthermore exploits the law’s flexibility. SHAPE America does not support the Department of Education providing guidance to states and school districts to make the purchase of firearms an explicit allowable use of Title IV, Part A funds.
For more information on health and physical education in ESSA visit https://www.shapeamerica.org/advocacy/essa.aspx.