Every Student Succeeds Act Funding (ESSA)

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President Obama signed the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), into law on December 10, 2015. The act replaces No Child Left Behind as the federal education legislation that funds and provides the framework for elementary and secondary education in the United States.

School health and physical education have been included in ESSA and as a result, states and school districts will have access to funding for health education and physical education programs.

Here are some quick facts about ESSA - provided by SHAPE America:

  • School health and physical education are identified as part of a student’s “well-rounded” education. Other subjects noted in the definition of well-rounded education include science, art, civics, history and geography, as well as others.
  • School health, physical education and physical activity programs will have access to significant funding under Title IV of ESSA. Block grants will be distributed to states under the Safe and Healthy Students program. School districts and schools will apply to their state department of education for funding for a wide range of safety, health and school-climate programs, to include health education and physical education.
  • Funding previously allocated to school districts through the Carol M. White Physical Education Program from the U.S. Department of Education will no longer exist. The funding available in the block grants through Title IV will replace the PEP grant funding in 2017.
  • School districts will be able to access funding from Title I, Title II and Title IV through their state department of education. The process for accessing these funds is still being developed by Congress and the U.S. Department of Education.

To learn more about the new Every Student Succeeds Act and the impact on health education and physical education, visit the SHAPE America website to download the free ESSA E-Guide: www.shapeamerica.org/advocacy/essa

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