Soon to be Introduced by Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK)
Current Co-sponsors (as of Sunday, May 23, 1999):
Cochran (R-MS), Hagel (R-NE), Inouye (D-HI),
Shelby (R-AL), Bingaman (D-NM), Levin (D-MI)
Action: Request that your Senator co-sponsor the PEP Act. Click here for a list of Senators that includes e-mail and Web site links.
Summary of the PEP Act
The bill would authorize the U.S. Secretary of Education to make grants to, and enter into contracts with, local school districts to create, expand, and improve physical education programs for kindergarten through grade 12 students. The grants/contracts can be used to:
- provide equipment and support so students can actively participate in physical education activities;
- develop or enhance physical education curricula to meet national goals; and
- provide funds for staff and teacher training and education.
In order to receive grants, local education agencies would submit applications to the Secretary of Education outlining the proposed programs. The programs would be required to:
- provide elementary, middle, and secondary school students with not less than 150 minutes per week of physical education and, if practicable, daily physical education;
- require teachers of physical education to have baccalaureate degrees as physical education specialists; and
- provide for continuing education for physical education teachers.
Extracurricular activities (such as team sports or Reserve Officers Training Corps) would not count in meeting the PEP Act minimum weekly physical education requirement.
The bill would authorize $400 million over 5 years.
- We are not living up to the U.S. Surgeon General's 1996 Report on Physical Activity and Health.
- Fewer than one in four children get 20 minutes of vigorous activity every day.
- The percentage of overweight young Americans has more than doubled in the past 30 years.
- Obesity-related diseases cost the nation more than $100 billion per year, and inactivity and poor diet cause more than 300,000 deaths per year in the United States.
- Senator Stevens' PEP Act would begin to correct these deficiencies by creating incentive grants (not unfunded mandates) for local school districts to develop physical education programs.
You are urged to co-sponsor and support the PEP act.