IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 17, 2011
Mr. Udall of New Mexico (for himself and Mr. Bingaman) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To support and encourage the health and well-being of elementary school and secondary school students by enhancing school physical education and health education.
This Act may be cited as
Promoting Health as Youth Skills
In Classrooms And Life Act.
Congress finds the following:
Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States.
Researchers estimate that the medical costs of the obesity epidemic in the United States may total $270,000,000,000 annually.
More than one-third of children and adolescents are estimated to be overweight or obese.
Of all United States deaths from major chronic disease, 23 percent are linked to sedentary lifestyles that now begin at childhood.
Overweight adolescents have a 70- to 80-percent chance of becoming overweight adults, increasing their risk for chronic disease, disability, and death.
Studies show that children born today, for the first time in 2 centuries, have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2006—
1 in 5 students in grades 9–12 seriously considers suicide;
1 in 3 12th graders, 1 in 4 10th graders, and 1 in 10 8th graders binge drink; and
1 in 10 children suffer mental illness causing some level of impairment.
Studies show that—
students who receive social-psychological support and prevention have improved academic achievement;
instruction in personal and social skills improves decisionmaking and reduces risky health behaviors; and
comprehensive programs linking rigorous instruction with health, education, social services, and health services in schools can reduce absenteeism.
The American Association for Health Education recommends that students receive a minimum of 50 hours of health education per year in order to ensure health literacy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 6.4 percent of elementary schools, 20.6 percent of middle schools, and 35.8 percent of high schools require health instruction in all 14 recommended health topics and only 3.8 percent of elementary schools, 7.8 percent of middle schools, and 2.1 percent of high schools provide daily physical education or its equivalent.
The Institute of Medicine in 2004 reported that enhanced school health education programs are essential to developing a health literate society in the United States as the Nation faces increasing health care challenges.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, studies suggest that physical activity can impact cognitive skills and attitudes, and important components of improved academic performance, including enhanced concentration and attention as well as improved classroom behavior.
The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report recommends increasing the quality and frequency of sequential, age, and developmentally appropriate physical education for all students, taught by certified physical education teachers.
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that elementary school students receive 150 minutes per week of physical education and that middle school and high school students receive 225 minutes per week of physical education.
The American school system is already situated to reach 50,000,000 children and youth to provide the health and physical education they need and a place for them to engage in these behaviors, such as nutritious eating and participating in physical activity.
Military readiness is vulnerable, as almost 30 percent of 17–24 year olds are too overweight to serve in the U.S. military.
Physical education and health education are critical to combating these harmful trends and are key components to educating the whole child.
Office of Safe and Healthy Students
Title II of the Department of Education Organization Act (20 U.S.C. 3411 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Office of Safe and Healthy Students
Office of Safe and Healthy Students
There shall be an Office of Safe and Healthy
Students (referred to in this section as the
Office) in the
Department of Education to advise the Secretary on Departmental matters related
to health education, physical education, and providing a safe and supportive
school climate for students’ learning, including promoting the acquisition of
knowledge and skills needed to be healthy, productive citizens. The Office
shall assume the responsibilities of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools
and expand such responsibilities and oversight for broader health and physical
Appointment and reporting
The Office shall be under the direction of a Director, who shall be appointed by the Secretary and who shall report directly to the Deputy Secretary.
The Director shall—
promote health education activities designed to prevent, protect, and remediate the health and safety of students, including nutrition, health literacy, mental health, bullying, physical activity, and drug and alcohol abuse;
promote physical education in elementary schools and secondary schools;
coordinate such activities within the Department of Education and with other agencies and organizations sharing a similar mission, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Justice;
administer, coordinate, and recommend policy for improving quality and excellence of programs and activities that are designed to—
provide financial assistance for activities that promote the health, safety, and well-being of students in elementary schools, secondary schools, and institutions of higher education, that are carried out by State educational agencies, local educational agencies, tribal schools, and public or private nonprofit organizations;
participate in the formulation and development of education program policy and legislative proposals and in overall Department policies related to health and safety promotion in schools;
participate in interagency committees, groups, and partnerships related to health and safety promotion, that includes drug and violence prevention (including bullying prevention), coordinating with other Federal agencies on issues related to comprehensive school health and physical education, and advising the Secretary on the formulation of comprehensive policies related to school health and physical education;
participate with other Federal agencies in the development of a national research agenda for health, physical activity, and safety promotion, prevention and reduction of risky health behaviors, and positive youth development, and serve as a clearinghouse for research data documenting the connection between student health, safety, and academic performance, attendance and future job success;
serve a coordinating function within the Department to identify all programs that address any aspect of student health and safety promotion within schools and ensure that the programs work in a coordinated manner;
analyze data to assess progress and achievement of relevant national health objectives for the Nation; and
serve as a clearinghouse for local educational agencies and schools needing technical assistance in addressing student health and safety issues; and
submit a biennial report to Congress regarding—
the expansion of—
physical education, health education and school health programs, and the improvement of student knowledge, skills, and behavior; and
teachers and others prepared to provide such programs and services; and
the integration of physical activity and health programs throughout the school day, including before and after school and in the community.
Health Education and Physical Education
Section 9101(11) of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801(11)) is amended by striking
and geography and inserting
education, and health education.
Section 1111(b)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(3)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Assessments for health education and physical education
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, each State shall determine the most feasible measure for assessing students in health education and physical education, including the use of adaptive assessments, to measure student knowledge and performance according to State standards and benchmarks.
Health Education Grant Program
Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Health Education Programs
It is the purpose of this section to award grants and contracts to initiate, expand, and improve health education programs for all kindergarten through 12th-grade students.
The Secretary is authorized to award grants to, and enter into contracts with, local educational agencies, including tribal schools and tribal school education agencies, community-based organizations, and nonprofit organizations to initiate, expand, and improve health education programs for kindergarten through grade 12 students, especially in rural areas, by—
providing resources and support to enable students to develop health literacy and skills to live more healthfully;
developing or enhancing health education curricula to meet national goals for health education developed by the Secretary in consultation with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
providing funds for technology, curriculum, related materials, and training, including on-line learning; and
providing funds for professional development for teachers, school nurses, wellness coordinators, and other personnel involved in student health.
Each local educational agency, community-based organization, or nonprofit organization desiring a grant or contract under this section shall submit to the Secretary an application that contains a plan to initiate, expand, or improve health education programs in order to make progress toward meeting State or national standards for health education.
To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall ensure that grants awarded under this section shall be equitably distributed among local educational agencies, community-based organizations, and nonprofit organizations serving urban and rural areas.
A health education program funded under this section may provide for 1 or more of the following:
Curriculum development activities designed to enhance school curricula efforts.
Instruction in health designed to enhance the physical, mental, and social or emotional development of every student.
Development of personal and life skills designed to reduce risky behaviors.
Opportunities to develop decisionmaking and problem solving skills.
Instruction in healthy eating habits and good nutrition.
Opportunities for professional development for teachers of health education to stay current with the latest research, issues, and trends in the field of health education.
Opportunities to assess school health curriculum needs and priorities and to assess students’ progress in meeting health education standards.
Annual report to the secretary
In order to continue receiving funding after the first year of a multi-year grant or contract under this section, the administrator of the grant or contract for the local educational agency, community-based organization, or nonprofit organization shall submit to the Secretary an annual report that—
describes the activities conducted during the preceding year; and
demonstrates progress and achievements made toward meeting State or national standards for health education.
Not more than 5 percent of the grant funds made available to a local educational agency, community-based organization, or nonprofit organization under this section for any fiscal year may be used for administrative expenses.
Supplement, not supplant
Funds made available under this section shall be used to supplement, and not supplant, any other Federal, State, or local funds available for health education activities.
Table of contents
The table of contents in section 2 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 4304 the following:
Part D—Health Education
Sec. 4401. Health Education Programs.
Carol M. White Physical Education Program
The Carol M. White Physical Education Program (20 U.S.C. 7261 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subpart such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2012 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.
Table of contents
The table of contents in section 2 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 5507 the following:
Sec. 5508. Authorization