The Carol M. White Physical Education for Progress program passed through Congress with a 15% increase in funding as part of an omnibus spending bill. For this year, $69 million has been allocated to the program, which provides grants to public schools, private schools, and organizations.

PEP funding has slowly grown from $5 million in 2001 to $60 million in 2003, and culminated in this year’s record budget, which will provide an estimated 300 grants to purchase fitness and sports equipment and train teachers in innovative physical education programs.

“We are very pleased with the increase in funding for the PEP program this year,” said SGMA International's Tom Cove, Vice-President for Government Affairs. “Securing funding for physical education is the top legislative priority for SGMA International. This year, Congress cut funding for many domestic programs because of the large amount of money spent on the restoration of Iraq. The fact that Congress increased funding for PEP by $10 million shows that we are getting our message across on Capitol Hill.”

Cove went on to say that the SGMA’s collaboration with PE4Life, NASPE, and other organizations in the physical education community made the funding possible.