Every Student Succeeds Act Funding (ESSA)

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What is ESSA?

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and it is the federal education law that funds and provides the framework for elementary and secondary education in the U.S. It was signed on December 10, 2015 by President Obama and identifies health and physical education as part of a student’s "well-rounded education." An increase in access to funds for health and physical education programs (including professional development) are now available. States and school districts have more local control over funding priorities.

What money is available?

A flexible block grant program is included under Title IV, Part A and appropriated at $1.1 billion for the 2018-19 school year. It authorizes activities in providing students with a well-rounded education, supporting safe and healthy students, and supporting the effective use of technology. Health and physical education are eligible to receive funds from all three areas.

To learn more about the distribution of funds, see the SHAPE America website and view the SHAPE America’s Title IV Fact Sheet.

Next Steps?

This money is not guaranteed to be used in health and physical education so you must advocate for your programs!

  • How much money do you have access to from the block grant program through Title IV, Part A within your district?
    • Request a District Funding Estimate provided by SHAPE America to learn how much funding your district is expected to receive.
  • What does your program need to support students and what funding is required?
    • Check out SHAPE America’s Brainstorming Worksheet to help with your needs assessment and budget planning.
      Make sure to request funds for evidence-based programs that align with the ESSA funding guidelines!
  • What ideas do you have around the opportunities available in your state/school district to prepare your students to be healthy and active for a lifetime?
    • Use this sample ESSA Funding Request Letter to discuss with your administration the possible uses for federal education funding under Titles I, II and IV of ESSA.
Information found at:


Information for PE, Nutrition, and Health Programs:

Use these assessment tools to evaluate your program needs and align evidence-based resources.

  1. School Health Index assessments & info Click Here
  2. SPARK alignment with national & state standards Click Here
  3. PECAT Reports for SPARK K-12 PE Click Here
  4. HECAT Reports for our Health & Nutrition Partners Click Here
  5. SPARK Assessment Tools Click Here
  6. SPARK alignment with the CDC's goals for a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) and 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day. Click Here
  7. Sportime content-aligned equipment to support evidence-based PE programs: Click Here
  8. Denver Public Schools PEP Grant success story Click Here
  9. East St. Louis District 189 PEP Grant case study Click Here
  10. Helpful webinar:
Why Choose SPARK:
  • SPARK WORKS. Over 45 publications demonstrate significant outcomes on students and teachers – SPARK has achieved the highest rating level for evidence-based physical education curriculum, a priority for ESSA funding.
  • SPARK LASTS. A 2005 paper in Research Quarterly proved SPARK sustainability and institutionalization.
  • SPARK physical education is the only nationally disseminated program that positively affects ALL of these student outcomes: Activity levels, fitness, sport skills, enjoyment, and academic achievement.
  • SPARK increases MVPA to over 50% of class-time whether instructed by PE specialists or classroom teachers - and SPARK will consult with you on how to measure it.
  • SPARK has been honored as an Exemplary Program of the U.S. Dept. of Education; cited in the Surgeon General’s Report as a “School-based solution to our nation’s healthcare crisis;” earned a “Governor’s Commendation;” and was awarded “Gold” by the Cooper Institute. SPARK is the only program to earn “PE Gold” grades K-8.
  • SPARK offers programs that extend beyond their award-winning K-12 PE Programs, including Early Childhood, After School, Inclusive PE, and Classroom Activity & Recess.
  • Click Here for a full list of SPARK Awards & Honors.
  • Click Here to Request a Proposal and speak with a representative to get a cost proposal for your program.
Why Choose Healthy Kids Challenge:

HKC uses the most current evidence-based recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other leading organizations.

The curriculum:

  • Is designed for health literacy. At the younger age levels images are incorporated for better literacy. Parent Tips are generally written at a six to eighth grade level and are available in English or Spanish. Classroom activities are written to be inclusive for all socio-economic groups.
  • Is written for all children, regardless of weight. Studies show that most kids do not eat in a way to maintain good health.
  • Aligns with health education standards and guidelines, including the CDC Health Education Analysis Tool (HECAT), Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Out-of-School Time Framework (HOST), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Guide for Effective Nutrition Intervention (GENIE), Institute of Medicine, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and MyPlate.
  • Click Here to learn more about the Healthy Kids Challenge nutrition education program.
  • Click Here to Request a Proposal and speak with a representative to get a cost proposal for your program.
Why Choose ETR HealthSmart:

ETR High School HealthSmart is a comprehensive health education program that meets the National Health Education Standards, reflects the characteristics of effective health education curricula, and incorporates key knowledge and skill expectations detailed in the CDC’s Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) for each grade level.

  • Click here to view the HECAT High School Scope & Sequence.
  • Click here to view the HECAT K-12 Healthy Behavior Outcomes by Lesson.
  • Click here to view the HECAT Report for HealthSmart High School.
  • Click Here to learn more about the ETR High School HealthSmart health education program.
  • Click Here to Request a Proposal and speak with a representative to get a cost proposal for your program.

Our new Grant Finder Tool will help you find grants specific to your state and type of program. New grants updated daily!

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Ichose the SPARK Program for our organizationbecauseof their research base and years of field testing. My staff loves the SPARK curriculumbecause it's so easy to learn anduse. I strongly...

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