SGMA-organized lobby efforts on National P.E. Day hit a major home-run in Congress for the Carol M. White Physical Education Program.

The House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education voted Thursday to include $73.4 million for PEP in FY 2006, just weeks after SGMA members descended on Capitol Hill to rally around the issue. This proposed funding is consistent with FY 2005 levels and indicates Congressional endorsement that physical education is vital to the health and fitness of our nation’s schoolchildren.

Tom Cove, SGMA President and CEO, is thrilled about this imperative from Congress “SGMA will continue to lobby for increased PEP funding throughout the appropriations process and is highly encouraged by the $73.4M floor set today by the subcommittee. This is a powerful announcement by the House of Representatives and a very strong win for PEP supporters.”

This is the first stage in a long appropriations process that should conclude later this year:

The bill now goes to the full House appropriations committee. SGMA expects the Senate to report on their bill later this summer.

“Congress continues to support the merits of the SGMA-backed PEP program at a time when many other programs are being cut or eliminated,” added Cove. “This is an important statement from Congress that our nation cannot afford to ignore the health risks associated with physical inactivity; SGMA members were a critical catalyst in driving this mandate on National P.E. Day.”