Program Opportunities for Disability Prevention and Reduction through Adapted Physical Activity and Recreation: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act-After School Programs in Adapted Physical Activity and Recreation. (Legislative Update)

Palaestra, Fall 2001 | Go to article overview

Program Opportunities for Disability Prevention and Reduction through Adapted Physical Activity and Recreation: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act-After School Programs in Adapted Physical Activity and Recreation. (Legislative Update)


Background and History

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is an educational program for disadvantaged children. Public schools are funded, in part, from local revenues in which wealthier districts come away with greater resources for educational programs, such as band and intramural sport programs. Federal funds from ESEA are allocated to schools with disadvantaged students at the local level to offset lesser resources.

One of the sections of ESEA is the after school program (ASP) for which there can be an extended program for recreation and sport or physical activity which includes persons with disabilities.

Block Grants

Block grants consolidate programs where local and state administrators have the authority to prioritize their resources. In other words, large chinks of monies are transferred from the federal to state levels where it is believed local authorities have a better understanding of how monies should be allocated. However, within the system are also funding priorities called Stand Alone Programs, which would allocate specific funding that is not part of the block allocation. At this writing there is debate as to whether or not the After School Program is to be a block grant versus a Stand Alone Program to be funded at the local level It is in the interest of advocates for physical education and recreation for the ESEA After School Program not to be put into a block grant. If the ASP is blocked, physical educators will have to argue at local school district levels of resources for their programs. If the ASP takes a block grant form, physical educators will have to form local coalitions with other ASP constituents and then argue again for physical activity and recreation for persons with disabilities as part of the general ASP. Block grants reduce resources and require separate constituencies in the community to fight for the scarce resources.

Implications for Local Administrators for Recreation, Sport, and Physical Activity

We must continue to track the progress and outcomes of the ESEA ASP block grant initiatives. We must also identify local school officials responsible for establishing priorities for use of ASP resources. Community coalitions to back ASP, including physical activity programs for people with disabilities, must also be developed. Finally, political activities at local school district levels require advocating for programs and then providing documentation to the public that they are of value to all children.

Disability Prevention Through Public Health Adapted Physical Education and Recreation

Introduction

The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates the United States is 27th among industrialized nations on health status (i.e., quality health years) with 50% of the health care resources. These poor showings are a result of less than adequate implementation of public health initiatives. Lifestyles including regular physical activities are now critical public health issues associated with health status.

Disability is often Related to Diminished Health Status

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of disability is related to diminished health status to such a point that it adversely impacts on a major life activity (i.e., vocation). The United States Public Health Service has plentiful research indicating insufficient physical activity is the precursor to many chronic diseases--cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, respiratory, and immune systems--that diminish health to a state of disability. …

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Program Opportunities for Disability Prevention and Reduction through Adapted Physical Activity and Recreation: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act-After School Programs in Adapted Physical Activity and Recreation. (Legislative Update)
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