SOPHE URGENT ACTION ALERT
Call Senators TODAY, Monday, April 13, 2015
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) will be marking-up a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Alexander (R-TN) and Murray (D-WA) that will finally reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary School Act. The name of their new bill is "Every Child Achieves Act of 2015." (Marking-up is the process by which a Congressional Committee debates, amends and possibly rewrite proposed legislation.)
A summary of the Act can be found here: http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/The_Every_Child_Achieves_Act_of_2015--summary.pdf.
The full proposed Act can be found here: http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/S_EveryChildAchievesActof2015.pdf
SOPHE's response to the Majority and Ranking member can be found here: http://www.sophe.org/alexander_and_murray_final.pdf
The Act elevates physical education to core curriculum status thus allowing jurisdictions to use Title I/II funds. We applaud that.
However, Health Education is not included in the core curriculum. We need your help in letting the Senate know this is not acceptable and health education must be added as a CORE subject.
PLEASE TAKE ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS IMMEDIATELY. The Act is scheduled for markup on Tuesday, April 14, 10am (ET), so this is URGENT.
1. If your Senator(s) is on the HELP Committee, call their office(s) and let them know health education is critical for children to achieve success in school. Calls are the best as time is short and emails can get backed up. Ask to speak with the health aide or feel free to leave the message with the receptionist.
2. If your Senator is not on the HELP Committee, contact them anyway and urge them to influence their colleagues on the Committee. Also it is still appropriate to contact HELP Senators even if you are not a constituent as this is a national issue.
Quick Talking Points:
- Teaching Health education as a core subject is essential to help every child achieve in 2015.
- Today only 38% of districts require teaching all 15 health topics to high school students, yet students' risks for many preventable and costly chronic conditions are soaring - costing the nation billions in emergency room visits and health care debt of states. (Cite CDC YRBS health statistics of children/adolescents from your own state - http://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Default.aspx?SID=HS
- Studies show that engaging in even one type of these risky health behaviors consistently are more likely to fail in school or drop out.
- Research shows evidence-based health education CAN IMPROVE students' health behaviors and help them achieve academically - and making them more likely to graduate and become productive citizens.
- Without Congressional support for health education as a core subject, health education will continue to be an afterthought in schools- leaving us to fail the Healthy People 2020 objectives for the nation and perpetuating a cycle of health illiteracy and spiraling health costs.
3. Forward this message to your health education colleagues, listservs, chapters and ask them to call as well. Let's flood them with messages, including social media!
Facebook and Twitter -- Sample tweets:
For meaningful education reform, Hlth Ed must be a core curriculum in ESEA/Every Child Achieves Act 2015 #HealthEdAchieves @SOPHEtweets
Health illiteracy costs trillions. Include health education as a core subject in ESEA reform. #HealthEdAchieves @SOPHEtweets
Health illiteracy costs trillions. Including health education as a core subject in ESEA reform. #HealthEdAchieves @SOPHEtweets
School hlth ed helps youth get knowledge & skills to become productive, hlthy adults & must be in ESEA reform #HealthEdAchieves @SOPHEtweets
LET'S BE HEARD. LET'S CREATE CHANGE! This may be the last time for many years to come to influence health education in schools. LET'S BE LOUD, LET'S BE HEARD! Thank you for speaking up for school health education!