South Carolina Health and Physical Education Leaders Advocate for Federal Funding Virtually!

SHAPE America Members Ask Congress to Fully Fund Title IV, Part A of ESSA

Rock Hill, SC March 19 2021 In an effort to educate members of Congress about the importance of a well-rounded education within the bi-partisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) leaders from the South Carolina Association of Physical Education Recreation and Dance (SCAHPERD) are advocating virtually to Congressional Offices on Capitol Hill to advocate for full funding to support professional development for teachers and health and physical education programs in schools South Carolina leaders representing SCAHPERD for this event are:

Jim Kamala- USC Upstate

Cameron Marshall - Winthrop University
Joanna Tremble – Newberry College Joshua Hart - Winthrop University
Nilo Ramos – Coastal Carolina University Wesley Rohrer - Winthrop University
Adam Keath - Winthrop University Jose Ariza - Winthrop University
Garrett Bowers – Winthrop University Wesley Williamson - Winthrop University
Macee Smith - Winthrop University Josh Austin - Winthrop University

SCAHPERD leaders shared their stories with members of Congress about how COVID-19 has impacted schools over the past year and specifically how health and physical education programs have become more important now than ever for students. Advocates also asked lawmakers to support health and physical education programs by fully funding the federal education program Title IV, Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, under ESSA. SCAHPERD members joined more than 160 fellow health and physical educators representing 38 states who are advocating virtually and are taking part in the SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators 14th annual member advocacy day, SPEAK Out! Day, on March 16-19. 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 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. SHAPE America is asking Congress to fully fund Title IV, Part A for $1.6 billion and $2.6 billion for Title II, Part A respectively. As Congress reconciles appropriations for FY 2022 and beyond, with a new Presidential Administration and Congress, it is critical that the health and physical education community continues its strong advocacy efforts for this important funding stream for schools.

“The research and evidence are clear; health and physical education enhances every aspect of students’ education. We just need our leaders to look at the evidence and legislate and allocate accordingly.” - Adam Keath

During these meetings, teachers and advocates offered insight and perspective on the negative impact of marginalizing health and physical education in schools as well as the importance of health and physical education during the pandemic. They also shared success stories, challenges and gave testimonials about what they are seeing and experiencing in schools, both virtually and in-person, across the country.

“Now more than ever our teachers had to focus on professional learning and development. The funds provided by Title IIA are critical in providing that professional development funding”  - Adam Keath

SHAPE America’s Vice President, Advocacy and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Carly Wright says it is critical to fund Title IV, Part A at a meaningful level as the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the need for schools to prioritize students’ health and well-being.

“This 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. The pandemic has highlighted the need for effective health and physical education programs and this funding is essential for these programs’ continued success.”

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 by following @SHAPE_America and #MoreTitleIV on Twitter.

About SHAPE America

SHAPE AmericaSociety 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.

PO Box 445•White Rock, SC 29177803-575-2822


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