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Bay Shore, NY, Mariusz Borkowski Heads to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Health & Physical Education
SHAPE America Members Will Ask Congress to Fully Fund Title IV, Part A ESSA Grant
Bay Shore, New York, April 19th, 2017 — In response to serious threats of cuts to the federal funding of the bi-partisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Bay Shore, NY Physical Education Teacher, Mariusz Borkowski from Bay Shore UFSD is headed to Capitol Hill to advocate for full funding to support professional development for teachers and health and physical education programs in schools.
Borkowski will be asking lawmakers to fully fund the federal education program Title IV, Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, under ESSA.
Borkowski will join more than 200 fellow health and physical educators representing nearly 50 states on Capitol Hill to take part in the SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators 10th annual member lobby day, SPEAK Out! Day, on April 25-26.
When ESSA was passed in 2015, health and physical education were designated as part of a well-rounded education, making these subjects eligible for federal education funding for the first time. Under the new program, Title IV, Part A, schools will receive funding to support a well-rounded education, safe and healthy student programs, and effective use of technology. Despite Title IV, Part A being authorized at $1.65 billion dollars, several proposals in Congress would significantly underfund ESSA and put health and physical education at risk of not being able to thrive in schools.
“Under this block grant, we are going to be competing with many other subject areas and programs for financial support. We need to make sure that the pot of money is as large as possible to ensure that health and physical education programs will have the chance to access at least a portion of that funding,” says Borkowski.
During these Capitol Hill meetings, teachers and advocates will offer insight and perspective on the negative impact of marginalizing health and physical education in schools. They will also share success stories and the links that exist between health, physical education and academic achievement.
SHAPE America’s Senior Manager of Advocacy Carly Wright says it is critical to set a strong precedence for funding as ESSA implementation begins in the 2017-2018 school year.
“By September, all states will have considered feedback from education stakeholders, including health and physical educators, and will submit their ESSA plans to the U.S. Department of Education and set funding priorities for school districts,” says Wright. “We are laser-focused on ensuring that health and physical education are on top of the priority list.”
In addition to pushing for full funding for Title IV, Part A, advocates will also ask Congress to support robust funding for Title II, Part A, which supports professional development for all school employees and Title IV, Part B, which supports after-school programs for low-income students.
Effective health and physical education are the cornerstones to empowering students to lead active, healthy lives, which is SHAPE America’s national commitment called 50 Million Strong by 2029.
For more event details, visit SPEAK Out! Day. Find updates during the two-day event by following @SHAPE_America and #MoreTitleIV on Twitter.
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 (now 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 www.shapeamerica.org.