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PEP Funding For FY2012 Is In Jeopardy

Date: 5/26/11

SILVER SPRING, MD – May 26, 2011 –  Just weeks after the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) received major funding  for this year’s programming(Fiscal Year 2011), PEP is under attack again on Capitol Hill.   On May 25, the U.S. House Education & Workforce Committee approved legislation to eliminate 41 education programs from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in FY2012.  The list of programs to be eliminated includes the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP). 

The PEP legislation funds a competitive grant program to give school districts and community based organizations resources to provide students with quality, innovative physical education.  This legislation has been funded every year since Fiscal Year 2001.  In all, more than $600 million in PEP grants have been distributed across the country by the U.S. Department of Education in the last ten years. 

The final vote by the House Education & Workforce Committee was along party lines with 23 Republicans supporting and 16 Democrats opposing.  The legislation is expected to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives, but the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate does not support the House bill. 

The proposed eliminations will have no bearing on the $78 million in PEP funding in FY2011 which the Department of Education recently announced. The Education Department is currently processing approximately 450 PEP grant applications and plans to award roughly 70 new multi-year PEP grants later this summer.  Despite the setback in the House, SGMA will continue to work with PEP supporters in Congress and its PE partners to preserve future funding for PEP.

“The PEP program has made a big difference in the lives of young children who have been exposed to PE programs supported by PEP grants,” said SGMA President Tom Cove.  “The PEP program is working well and is making a difference in the fight against childhood obesity.  The success of PEP complements the Let’s Move campaign, which is supported by the First Lady.”

“SGMA and its PEP partners have overcome proposed elimination of PE funding in the past and we will work to ensure funding in FY2012 and beyond,” said Bill Sells, SGMA’s vice president of government relations.  “Physical health is too important to the future of America since the health of American children today will impact the health of adults tomorrow.”

“I have seen first-hand how a PEP grant can transform a PE program in a school,” said Ellen Smith, a physical education teacher at Gove Elementary School in Belle Glade, Florida.  “A PEP grant can make a positive impact on more than just the children of a school.  It impacts the lives of the teachers and the entire community.”

“I challenge the U.S. Congress to do right thing and support the PEP program,” said football legend Herschel Walker, the honorary chairman of SGMA’s National Health Through Fitness Day, SGMA’s annual day of advocacy in Washington, D.C.  “As a nation, we can’t afford to not fund physical education.”
The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry.  SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by promoting favorable public policies, fostering participation through research, thought leadership and product promotion.  More information about SGMA membership and SGMA public policy platform can be found at www.SGMA.com

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