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Faculty member to advocate for health/physical education funding in D.C.

Release Date: February 06, 2018

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


CSU-Pueblo faculty member to advocate for health/physical education funding in D.C.

PUEBLO - In response to serious threats of cuts to the federal funding of the bi-partisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Colorado State University-Pueblo Health and Physical educator Karen Marley will join more than 150 fellow health and physical educators representing 42 states on Capitol Hill to take part in the SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators 11th annual member advocacy day, SPEAK Out! Day, on February 13-14.

Marley and the group of educators will ask lawmakers to fully fund the federal education program Title IV, Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, under ESSA. In addition, advocates also will 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.

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 a new 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. Despite Title IV, Part A being authorized at $1.65 billion dollars in ESSA, Congress only appropriated $400 million to support these vital programs for FY 2017. As Congress reconciles appropriations for FY 2018 and beyond, several proposals in Congress would also significantly underfund ESSA and put health and physical education at risk of not being able to thrive in schools.

“Under this block grant, we are competing with many other subject areas and programs for financial support. We need to make sure that the pot of money is as large as possible to ensure that health and physical education programs will have the chance to access at least a portion of that funding,” said Marley.

During these Capitol Hill meetings, teachers and advocates will offer insight and perspective on the negative impact of marginalizing health and physical education in schools. They also will share success stories and the links that exist between health, physical education, and academic achievement.

Marley said the legislation also has a direct impact on teacher preparation as qualified teachers are lost when Physical Education and Health are cut from the curriculum.

SHAPE America’s Director, Public Policy and Advocacy Carly Wright says it is critical to fund Title IV, Part A at a meaningful level as many state’s ESSA plans address student wellness, physical education, or chronic absenteeism, which is often impacted by a student’s health and physical activity habits.

“As states help to guide school districts in fully implementing ESSA for the 2018-19 school year, we must ensure that they have sufficient funding to effectively enact programs that will support the state’s educational priorities,” says Wright. “In turn, we are also laser-focused on ensuring that health and physical education are on top of state’s priority lists.”

Effective health and physical education are the cornerstones to preparing students to lead active, healthy lives, which is SHAPE America’s national commitment called 50 Million Strong by 2029.

For event details, visit SPEAK Out! Day. Find updates during the two-day event by following @SHAPE America and #MoreTitleIV on Twitter.

About SHAPE America

SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools (now Active Schools) and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit

Colorado State University-Pueblo is committed to excellence, setting the standard for regional comprehensive universities in teaching, research, and service by providing leadership and access for its region, while maintaining its commitment to diversity.


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