The National Sporting Goods Association is reporting that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2005 education spending bill last week, and included in the bill was $75 million for the Carol M. White (PEP) Physical Education Program, an increase of $5 million from 2004.

This is considered a success in that federal spending for education was restrained this year because of money spent on military operations in Iraq and extensive hurricane damage in Florida. Similar programs in the education bill were either cut or held at level funding from last year.

The House earlier in the year passed its version of the Education funding bill, committing $70 million to PEP. The Senate leadership has assured industry leaders that they will fight to maintain PEP’s $75 million funding level when the two bodies meet to resolve their differing bills later this year.

NSGA has actively supported PEP since it was brought to the industry’s attention at the NSGA Management Conference in 1999. Association staff members have traveled to Washington for the annual National P.E. Day PEP lobbying effort each year, meeting with Senators, Representatives and their staffs.