Bay Shore, New York, Physical Education Teacher, Mariusz Borkowski Heads to Nation’s Capital to Advocate for Fair Implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act for Health and PE
SHAPE America SPEAK Out! Day Takes Place March 1-2
Bay Shore, NY – In an effort to ensure that school health and physical education were appropriately funded and addressed in the new federal education law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a group of 190 physical and health educators from across the Country met with their Congressional representatives in Washington, DC for SHAPE America’s – Society of Health and Physical Educators 8th annual SPEAK Out! Day, March 1-2.
“SHAPE America advocates have been critically important to the inclusion of health and physical education as part of a well-rounded education in ESSA,” says SHAPE America Senior Manager of Advocacy, Carly Braxton. “Our work is far from over. Our programs will be competing for Title I, II and IV funding with many other subjects in every state and school district.”
During their face to face meetings on Capitol Hill, teachers representing 45 states, offered insight and perspective on the negative impact that occurred when health and PE were marginalized. They also shared stories of success when these programs were sustained and thrived in schools and asked their members of Congress to support robust funding for health and PE programs within their state.
Borkowski and fellow advocates asked Congress to fully fund ESSA in FY2017, and specifically to fund Title IV Part A of ESSA at $1.65 billion. This will allow health and PE programs to have access to significant funding. Under Title IV, block grants will be distributed to states, replacing the previous Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant. They will also seek support for implementing ESSA in their states in a way that is advantageous and equitable for health and PE so that these programs can continue to support life-long healthy habits of all students.
New during this year’s event, SHAPE America will hold a Shape of the Nation Summit, highlighting state PE policy opportunities and a preview of the highly anticipated Shape of the Nation Report coming out later this year. The report gives a snap shot of PE and physical activity policies across the country. Additionally, information will be shared on how health and PE professionals can get involved in 50 Million Strong by 2029, SHAPE America’s national commitment to empower all children to lead healthy and active lives through health and PE programs.
For more event details, visit SPEAK Out! Day. Find updates during the two-day event by following @SHAPE_America, #SPEAKOutDay on Twitter and watch the Summit live on Periscope.
About SHAPE America
SHAPE America — Society of Health and Physical Educators is the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals. Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our National Standards for K-12 Physical Education serve as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country. We provide programs, resources and advocacy to support health and physical educators at every level, from preschool to university graduate programs.
SHAPE America has 50 state affiliates and is a founding partner of national initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let’s Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs. “50 Million Strong by 2029” is our commitment to empower all children to lead healthy and active lives through health and physical education programs. For more information, visit www.shapeamerica.org.