House Committe Rejects Administration's Call for Cuts in Physical Education Grants

Cuts in Program Would Hurt Rollerblade's Skates in School Program

By Robert "Living With Orcs" Burnson

A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives is recommending continued financing for a federal program that helps schools buy athletic equipment.

The Bush administration had proposed cutting and eventually eliminating the Physical Education Program (PEP).

But an appropriations subcommittee voted last week to allocate $73.4 million for the program, which is almost the same amount it got last year ($74 million).

Cuts in the program would have hurt Rollerblade's Skates in School program.

Schools in the program rely on PEP grants to buy fleets of skates for use in gym classes. Rollerblade provides the skates at a reduced rate.

The subcommittee's support for PEP grants "is an important statement from Congress that our nation cannot afford to ignore the health risks associated with physical inactivity," said Tom Cove, president of the Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association (SGMA).

There's no word yet on whether Congress will continue to support the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which the Bush administration also wants to eliminate.

The fund is another source of support for inline skating.

State and local governments tap into the fund to help with the cost of building new parks and trails. Many rail-to-trail projects have been financed by the fund.

(posted on June 23, 2005)


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Skate Industry Decries Bush Budget Cuts

Related reading:

Industry News

• Planet interivew with Rollerblade's Nick Skally


Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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