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Congress approved legislation that funds the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) through 2006. After a drawn-out process, funding for the Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services and Education was finally approved on December 22, 2005. Immediately following the vote Congress adjourned for the remainder of 2005.
The Education Department funding includes $72.6 million for PEP. A top priority of SGMA’s legislative agenda, PEP provides grants to schools to purchase sports equipment and upgrade physical education programs. SGMA is extremely pleased to see Congress endorse the importance of physical education with a PEP funding level consistent with 2005.
Tom Cove, SGMA President and CEO, credits the industry’s active members who lobbied for PEP support throughout the year. â€œIt is a great achievement to receive level funding in a year when many other education programs were pared back or eliminated altogether. SGMA is proud of the industry’s collaboration and participation; PE4life and SGMA members have been key catalysts in promoting active, healthy lifestyles through the PEP initiative.â€
In the end the $602 billion Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations measure was added to the Defense Appropriations bill to ensure its passage. As part of the agreement all discretionary spending will be trimmed one percent, resulting in the final funding amount of $72.6 million for PEP.
â€œAchieving ongoing commitment from Congress validates our concept that physical education is a necessary and vital component of a school’s curriculum. Active, healthy lifestyles are critical for our nation’s youth,â€ adds Cove. â€œSGMA congratulates Congress for their continued support of PEP.â€
SGMA International is the global business trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA International enhances industry vitality and fosters sports, fitness and active lifestyle participation. More information about SGMA International and SGMA’s Sports Research Partnership can be found at www.sgma.com.