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(This is also posted on my Facebook account)
This e-mail was recently sent out to all current PEP Grant winners –

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Dear Grantees:

Lately, there have been rumors circulating in our grantee community about President Obama’s 2011 proposed budget for education and more specifically the OSDFS.

While the funding for some of our programs appears to have been eliminated, the functions of these programs will likely continue in a consolidated and reorganized office which will be better able to fund program activities such as physical education, counseling, and nutrition.

The purpose of the proposed consolidation of programs is to offer a new, more comprehensive direction for our federally-funded K-12 programs with greater flexibility and increased focus on the reforms most likely to produce student success as determined by local and state authorities using a new school climate measurement system.

For those grantees that are in the middle of the project, OSDFS has every intention of honoring our continuation commitments. In turn, we expect that you will continue to do the great work you’re doing every day and documenting that work in your annual reports.

If you are honoring your commitments and making substantial progress towards your goals, we have no intention of terminating your projects. The FY 2011 budget is based on a proposed design for a reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and how programs would be funded under that new design, described above.

Until Congress completes the ESEA reauthorization process, they will continue to use the current legislative authority for the Department, No Child Left Behind. As you know, under NCLB, PEP does exist as a discreet program, which received $79 million in FY 2010.

Should you have any questions, please contact me or anyone here at the Department of Education for official information.

We ask that you please share this with your colleagues and ask them to contact us directly with any questions.

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Artie’s Note: To me this says numerous things… #1 – #10.

(#1) All PEP grants currently in Year 2 will be able to get funding next year (2010-2011). This is good.

(#2) All PEP Grants currently in Year 1 will be able to get funding next year (2010-2011), but maybe not for the following year. This is good and bad.

(#3) Folks interested in applying for PEP grant funds this year (2010) should do plan on doing so, since funds are available next year (2010-2011) for new PEP Grants. This is good for now.

(#4) The overall funding for the Office of Safe & Drug-Free Schools has been reduced in the President’s proposed budget and programs designated to be “consolidated or eliminated.” I’m not very pleased with this right now. As a former State Director of K-12 “Healthful Living” I have seen the great programs the OSDFS has supported in the past. And as a former K-12 Health & PE administrator for one of the top 25 largest school districts in the country, I know how critical funding is for teacher staff development, instruction, and school-by-school improvement.

(#5) The fact that PEP is not fully funded in the President’s budget has happened in the past – don’t panic – you need to alert your Congress members (2 Senators and Congressperson) and ask their support for continued funding. Please don’t assume that “Someone Else” will do this – please start contacting them now!

(#6) I am glad to hear that AAHPERD/NASPE has a place at the table in First Lady Obama’s childhood obesity prevention planning efforts. I’m sure you will hear more from your State AHPERD leadership on this in the near future.

(#7) All of us will need to become more vocal at the federal level, state and local levels since it appears that the US Department of Education will be sending funds to “focus on the reforms most likely to produce student success as determined by local and state authorities using a new school climate measurement system.”

(#8) Now we must advocate at all levels – at your school district level, at your state level, and at the federal level.

  • All of us must advocate at the federal level so that funds remain focused on PE.
  • Each state will need to create a plan to have a common voice and advocate at the state level with your State Senators (everyone has one), State House members (everyone has one), Governor, State Superintendent, and State Board of Education members.
  • Each PE teacher will need to advocate at the local level (ex: your Superintendent, County Commissioners, Mayor’s office, local Board of Education).

(#9) So, again… this becomes a game of “Musical Chairs.” The chairs will disappear – one by one – as the funds get approved at the federal level, the state level, and funnel down to you at the grassroots level.

(#10!!) When the music stops…. let’s make sure that the “PE Chair” is there for you and the students you serve!

– PS: Must have been the chocolate candy I’ve been eating….

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