Bay Shore, NY, March 4, 2019 — In an effort to educate new members of Congress about the importance of a well-rounded education within the bi-partisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Co-Chairperson of the Bay Shore Wellness Alliance, Physical Education Teacher, Mariusz Borkowski from Bay Shore H.S. 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 150 fellow health and physical educators representing 39 states on Capitol Hill to take part in the SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators 12 th annual member advocacy day, SPEAK Out! Day, on March 5-6.
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 a new ESSA 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. Congress funded Title IV, Part A at $1.1 billion and $1.17 billion in FY18 and FY19 respectively. As Congress reconciles appropriations for FY 2020 and beyond, its critical that the health and physical education community continues its strong advocacy efforts for this important funding stream for schools.
“Under this block grant, we are 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 social emotional learning and academic achievement.
“Lawmakers need to hear our local and personal stories, where Bay Shore Schools, Community, Board of Education and Administration come together and fully and unequivocally support our Health and Physical Education programs. At Bay Shore, ESSA Title IV Part A, can further improve opportunities for all students to access a well-rounded education. Bay Shore does it right!” Says Borkowski
SHAPE America’s Director, Public Policy and Advocacy Carly Wright says it is critical to fund Title IV, Part A at a meaningful level as many state’s ESSA plans address student wellness, physical education, or chronic absenteeism, which is often impacted by a student’s health and physical activity habits.
“This new session of Congress brings many new legislators to Capitol Hill and new committee leadership that will oversee federal education issues. This gives us an important opportunity to develop new champions in Congress for health and physical education,” says Wright. “In turn, we must be laser-focused on cultivating a strong voice in Washington, DC on behalf of the health and physical education community.”
In addition to pushing for full funding for Title IV, Part A, advocates will also ask Congress to support continued funding for Title II, Part A, which supports professional development for all school employees, including for health and physical education programs.
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 a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association and the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals.
Our vision is to have a nation where all children are prepared to lead healthy, physically active lives — and our programs and resources support the teachers who are making a difference every day.
Through our advocacy efforts, we laid the groundwork for the inclusion and elevation of health and physical education in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). And now, we continue the fight for increased funding for these critical K-12 programs.