PEP Grant Funding in Jeopardy Again

Mere weeks after the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) received $78 million in grant funding for 2011, PEP is under the ax again in Washington, D.C. The U.S. House Education & Workforce Committee on Wednesday approved legislation to eliminate 41 education programs - including PEP - from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the 2012 fiscal year.

The PEP legislation funds a distributed by the U.S. Department of Education during the past ten years and used to purchase equipment and provide additional instructor training.

The proposed eliminations will have no bearing on PEP funding for 2011. The Department of Education is currently processing approximately 450 PEP grant applications and plans to award approximately 70 new multi-year PEP grants later this summer.

"SGMA and its PEP partners have overcome proposed elimination of P.E. funding in the past, and we will work to ensure funding in 2012 and beyond," says Bill Sells, vice president of government relations for the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, which along with the nonprofit P.E.4Life organization, was instrumental in the inception of the PEP grant. "Physical health is too important to the future of America, since the health of American children today will impact the health of adults tomorrow."

Wednesday's 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 Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate does not support the House bill, according to SGMA.

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