Phys Ed 4 All Coalition Thanks New York City Leaders for Much Needed Funding to Improve Physical Education in New York City Schools

American Heart Association

June 14, 2016
in Physical Education

NEW YORK, NY, June 14, 2016 – The Phys Ed 4 All Coalition thanks Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and our City Council champions for approving vital funds dedicated to the improvement of physical education in New York City schools.  As stated by Mayor de Blasio in his Executive Budget proposal, this funding will help bring city schools into compliance with New York state law.

The $9 million appropriation found in the FY 17 budget will allow city schools to hire new certified physical education teachers, thereby enabling physical education programs to be created in schools where none currently exist, or expand those that don’t yet quite meet the required metrics in state law.

According to state law, all elementary school students should receive a minimum of 120 minutes of quality physical education per week and students in the secondary schools should receive 90 minutes of quality physical education per week.  Currently in New York City, many of our schools do not meet these requirements for quality physical education – and it should be noted these standards don’t meet national benchmarks for adequate PE.

Research shows physical activity improves brain function and student achievement.  Yet schools have reduced time in physical education, limiting the opportunity to learn critical skills and fundamental knowledge regarding physical fitness and health.

The Phys Ed 4 All Coalition is comprised of community-based organizations, advocates, parents, educators, and health professionals dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of physical education in New York City schools.  At a minimum, the coalition believes that city schools must provide the basic, essential physical education required by state law.  The coalition was founded on the premise that comprehensive, quality PE is a right, not a privilege, and must be equally and consistently provided to every city student at all grade levels. The Phys Ed 4 All coalition develops and implements targeted strategies related to community organizing, media advocacy and policy campaigns to support students, families and the teaching community with our unified goal in fostering generations with greater academic success and improved health outcomes.

The American Heart Association is grateful for the leadership of Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Farina, Speaker Mark-Viverito and our Council champions Daniel Dromm and Elizabeth Crowley,” stated Yuki Courtland, Chair of the Advocacy Committee for the American Heart Association in New York City. “We must instill healthy lifestyle behaviors in our students now, while we can.  With this investment, we can help make sure that those schools that need the greatest support have access to significant resources like certified PE teachers.  We look forward to a time when every student – regardless of where they’re from or who they are – is offered a quality education to inspire a lifetime of physical fitness.”

ACS CAN applauds the New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio for continuing to aggressively address the important public health issue of physical education in schools,” said Michael Davoli, Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Metro NY. “This funding for physical education can have a tremendous impact on their health and well-being.”

Wendy Siskin, Wellness in the Schools, Coach for Kids Director emphasized the importance of PE and applauded the city’s funding, “”Education without PE is like reaching for a book on the top shelf without a ladder. PE empowers one’s capacity to learn.”

We are encouraged that Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and City Council plan to include $9M in the budget for better PE in our schools,” said Mireya Solis, member of Make the Road NY’s Parents Committee in Jackson Heights. “My son, Samuel, goes to P.S.148, where he only has gym once a week. I, along with other parents at P.S.148, are relieved to know that we can count on at least 150 new gym teachers citywide and improvements in PE in the years to come. The city’s investment in PE promises our children healthier lives.”

Bronx Community Health Network (BCHN) Chief Medical Officer Jay Izes, M.D. stated, “The importance of physical education for the health and well-being, in addition to the academic achievement of all of our children, is firmly established.  We applaud City Council for funding this pressing need.”

Huge thanks to Major de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito and each member of City Council who voted for PE accountability funds for NYC DOE schools. We appreciate your understanding of the importance of physical education in the health and development of our city’s youth,” stated Dr. Martha Eddy, Director, Center For Kinesthetic Education.

As a member of PE4All coalition Steering Committee, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest applauds Mayor de Blasio’s administration and New York City Council for their commitment to improving physical education in New York City public schools,” said Laura Redman, Director, Health Justice Program, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. “City Council’s recent funding commitment is an important step to addressing health disparities and improving physical education for all students across the five boroughs. “

 “New York City will be a leader in Phys Ed reform thanks to Mayor DeBlasio and the City Council’s efforts. Students will soon have quality Physical Education as part of their educational routine. There are undeniable links between regular PE and healthy adolescent development both cognitively and affectively. We look forward to working with you further on this important initiative,” stated Brian Semonian, Founder Phys Ed Plus

 

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CONTACT:

Mark Hurley

American Heart Association

Email: mark.hurley@heart.org