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Wednesday
Nov042015

Tell Congress to Save Crucial Physical Education Funding

 As obesity and physical inactivity rates ticked steadily upward in the United States, physical education in schools consistently declined. In 2015 only a handful of states require physical education at all. Nearly half of American high school students are unable to take physical education classes, and the average annual school budget for physical education is a paltry $768.

P.E. isn't just about learning to play dodge ball and getting your minimum exercise for the day, it’s also a building block of America's future. As Joe Moore pointed out in the Morning Consult Blog this past August:

“Since the years of World War II, the percentage of overweight and obese youth has increased significantly. Today, nearly one in four young adults are carrying too much weight to enlist. And obesity is among the leading reasons why most 17-to-24-year-olds (70 percent) cannot serve, according to a Mission: Readiness report. As distressing, 12 percent of active duty service members are obese, up 61 percent since 2002."

And yet PE is in peril–in August the Senate and House of Representatives passed two different education bills. The Senate’s Every Child Achieves Act includes provisions for health and physical education, while the House Student Success bill does not include any provisions or funding for P.E. The bills are now in conference, where the differences between them will be reconciled.   

The American Heart Association and National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) are collecting signatures to urge Congress to recognize physical education as a core subject and expand physical education grants (like Carol M. White PEP funding) as part of the Early and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The signatures will be leveraged to let Congress know that the American people place a high priority on physical education, and want to lay the foundation for an active, healthy lifestyle for future generations.

The IHRSA Advocacy team has signed the petition-we want you to join us. Click below to sign the petition, and then use our ready-made tweet to share your support in one click.

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Signed the petition? Let your network know and encourage others to sign! Click the image to tweet your support.

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