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As a part of the President’s reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind), information regarding the consolidated “Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students” program (i.e., where the PEP Grant funds have been proposed to go) is now available on the Department of Education’s website:

“Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students”

Our proposal will provide competitive grants to support states, school districts, and their partners in providing learning environments that ensure that students are successful, safe, and healthy. To better measure school climate and identify local needs, grantees will be required to develop and implement a state- or district-wide school climate needs assessment to evaluate school engagement, school safety (addressing drug, alcohol, and violence issues), and school environment, and publicly report this information. This assessment must include surveys of student, school staff, and family experiences with respect to individual schools, and additional data such as suspensions and disciplinary actions. States will use this data to identify local needs and provide competitive subgrants to school districts and their partners to address the needs of students, schools, and communities.

Grantees will use funds under the Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students program to carry out strategies designed to improve school safety and to promote students’ physical and mental health and well-being, nutrition education, healthy eating, and physical fitness. Grantees may support activities to prevent and reduce substance use, school violence (including teen dating violence), harassment, and bullying, as well as to strengthen family and community engagement in order to ensure a healthy and supportive school environment.

Priority will be given to applicants that propose to support partnerships between districts and nonprofit organizations, including community-based organizations. Priority will also be given to grantees willing to direct funds to schools with the greatest need, including Challenge schools, as identified under the College- and Career-Ready Students program, or schools with the greatest needs as identified through the school climate needs assessment.

My Thoughts:

  • As I have stated previously and repeatedly, unless Congress intervenes, the monies that are currently used to fund the PEP Grant would be re-directed to states beginning with the 2011-2012 school year.
  • Action: All of you who want to keep the PEP Grants as a separate line item (i.e., those PEP Grantees who want to receive funding in 2011-2012 and beyond) need to contact your Congressperson and two Senators now!
  • Other than possibly losing the dedicated PEP Grant funds, I am in full support of what seems to be a more coordinated approach to helping to lessen our nation’s health issues (i.e., tobacco-related, drug-related, obesity-related).
  • I’m worried that proposed “school climate needs assessment” will have little mention on how school districts should be supporting quality health and physical education programs.
  • Action: Please ask your State AHPERD Executive Boards to urge AAHPERD/NASPE/CDC/Society of State Directors and others to find out what the proposed “school climate needs assessment” will address.  With the Administration’s want for greater transparency, knowing more about the “school climate needs assessment” is a must for those of us advocating for stronger physical education programs.
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