Physical Education Program (PEP) Grants Funded for 2015
22 Dec, 2014
Pioneered by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP), a legislative priority for SFIA over the years, received $47 million in funding for fiscal year 2015. PEP grants are multi-year grants for PE equipment purchases and teacher training tied to innovative physical education methods. PEP funds for FY2015 were recently included in the $1.1 trillion government spending bill Congress passed.
“In a very difficult budget environment, we’re pleased PEP continues to be funded,” said Bill Sells, SFIA Vice President of Government and Public Affairs. “This year’s National Health Through Fitness Day becomes vitally important as the program will face significant challenges going forward without PEP’s biggest supporter, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA).”
Senator Harkin has long been a champion of the PEP program, but will retire at the end of 2014. The highly competitive grant program (less than 10 percent of applicants receive awards) is managed by the Department of Education and is the only federal funding dedicated to physical education. With the average school budget for physical education being $764, the $250,000 to $750,000 grants for school districts and community-based organizations is crucial to providing quality physical education.
PEP, along with the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act and the Physical Activity Guidelines will be the focal points on SFIA’s National Health Through Fitness Day, the sports and fitness industry’s annual event on Capitol Hill when celebrity athletes, sports industry executives, medical professionals, PE teachers, youth sports providers and other physical activity advocates will meet with Congress. National Health Through Fitness Day will be held March 3-4, 2015 in Washington, DC.