Texas Fitness Now FAQs

Authorized By General Appropriations Act, Article III, Rider 79, 81st Legislature


  1. What is the purpose of the program?

  2. Who created this program?

  3. Why was this program created?

  4. Why is fitness important?

  5. Who is eligible to apply for the grants?

  6. Are fitness evaluations required?

  7. Are there any specific requirements related to the amount of time students participate in physical activity?

  8. Where do schools go to apply?

  9. What is the due date for submitting the 2009-2010 Texas Fitness Now grant application?

  10. What is the project begin and end date for this program?

  11. How are the funds allocated?

  12. Do I use one application per LEA?

  13. What are some helpful hints for filling out the application?

  14. How may the campuses spend the grant money?

  15. Are there any restrictions on the grant money?

  16. Can schools use program funds to provide extra-duty pay for PE teachers?

  17. What are the limitations on administrative expenditures?

  18. Can Texas Fitness Now funds pay for a Professional Development Speaker for non-awarded schools?

  19. Who can schools contact for more information?

1.  What is the purpose of the program?

The 81st Legislature established a grant program awarding $20 million during the 2009-2011 biennium to economically disadvantaged middle schools to support in-school physical education, nutrition and fitness programs for students. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will work together to provide grants to school districts and open-enrollment charter schools for the support of in-school physical education and fitness programs for students in grades 6, 7, and/or 8. The purpose of the grant is to further the goal of reducing childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Texas Fitness Now places specific emphasis on the importance of physical education and fitness for students in grades 6, 7, and 8 as the foundation for a life of healthy choices.

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2.  Who created this program?

Rider 79 in Article III of the General Appropriations Act (House Bill 1), passed by the 81st Legislature, authorized the creation of the Texas Fitness Now program. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA) and Texas Education Agency (TEA) developed the program and set the guidelines. TEA will process the applications and distribute the grants.

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3.  Why was this program created?

The goal of the grant is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes through emphasis on physical education and fitness in middle schools. To support in-school physical education (PE) programs, the grants seek to provide students with a foundation for a life of fitness and healthy lifestyle choices.

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4.  Why is fitness important?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle increases self-esteem, decreases body fat, increases strength and endurance, prevents sports-related injuries, increases a student’s cognitive ability, and helps build a sense of “team” through partner and group exercises.

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5.  Who is eligible to apply for the grants?

The program targets students in Grades 6, 7 and/or 8. For this non-competitive grant program, schools with at least 60% of the students categorized as economically disadvantaged may be eligible. The eligibility list is on the TEA Grant Opportunities Page: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/opge/disc/calendar/218-10/09_10eligibility.pdf.

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6.  Are fitness evaluations required?

Eligible schools must agree to conduct campus fitness evaluations twice a year - once before November 15, 2009, and again at the end of the school year - utilizing the student fitness assessment instrument adopted by the Commissioner of Education.

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7.  Are there any specific requirements related to the amount of time students participate in physical activity?

Schools must ensure students participate in physical activity for either 30 minutes per day or 225 minutes per two-week period for the entirety of the school year. The grant guidelines provide assistance in selecting and/or developing effective instructional materials, programs, learning systems, and strategies based on a list of characteristics of quality physical education from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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8.  Where do schools go to apply?

The actual grant application is available on TEA’s Web site at: http://burleson.tea.state.tx.us/GrantOpportunities/forms/GrantProgramSearch.aspx. Find the Select Search Options box outlined in purple. Click on the Application Name drop down box and select "2009-2010 Texas Fitness Now Grant Application".

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9.  What is the due date for submitting the 2009-2010 Texas Fitness Now grant application?

The application must be delivered or received by mail in the Division of Formula Funding at TEA by 5 p.m. Central Time on October 22, 2009. No faxes will be accepted.

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10.  What is the project begin and end date for this program?

The begin and end dates for this program are September 1, 2009-August 31, 2010.

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11.  How are the funds allocated?

Allocation amounts are provided with the list of eligible campuses. Campus allocation amounts equal:

  1. $1,000 per campus base allocation and approximately $11.22 per student enrollment (as reported in the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS in 2008-2009) for campuses that received a Texas Fitness Now entitlement in school year 2008-2009.
  2. $1,500 per campus base allocation and approximately $27.75 per student enrollment (as reported in the Public Education Information management System (PEIMS) in 2008-2009) for campuses that did not receive a Texas Fitness Now entitlement in school year 2008-2009.

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12.  Do I use one application per LEA?

Yes, an LEA submits one application on behalf of their eligible campuses.

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13.  What are some helpful hints for filling out the application?

  1. The Superintendent needs to sign the application, since it is a legally binding contractual agreement between TEA and the LEA.
  2. Schedule #3- Budget Summary – The amounts budgeted in each class/object code (e.g., 6100 Payroll Costs) must equal the amounts budgeted on each supporting schedule (e.g., Schedule #3B-Payroll Costs).
  3. Schedule #4-Part 2: Please include an assurance that the eligible participating campuses are providing at least 30 minutes per day/225 minutes per two-week period of physical activity for the entirety of the 2009-2010 school year.

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14.  How may the campuses spend the grant money?

An LEA’s comprehensive physical education program must be based on the following: 25 percent of the program focuses on nutrition education and activities; 75 percent of the program focuses on physical fitness education and activities.

Grantees may use Texas Fitness Now grant funds for items necessary to support the comprehensive physical education program; however, it is not required to allocate the same percentage of grant funds to nutrition education and physical fitness education.

Grantees are encouraged to utilize funds to achieve moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) to as many students as possible. For example, purchasing equipment that can be used in a group setting to serve a larger number of students instead of items that can only be used by one student at a time.

Funds can be used to purchase fitness-related, sports-related, and nutrition-related equipment and materials. Funds may be used to provide extra-duty pay to campus personnel to further the program objectives and to provide support for teachers to participate in professional development opportunities.

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15.  Are there any restrictions on the grant money?

Funds must only be used for the eligible campus(es) designated in the grant application. Also, funds can only be used to support the 6th, 7th, and/or 8th grades on those eligible campuses.

Program funds shall not be used to purchase portable or modular buildings, or for the renovation, reconstruction, or remodeling of existing buildings. Funds may not be used for activities that substitute for PE, such as athletics.

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16.  Can schools use program funds to provide extra-duty pay for PE teachers?

Program funds may help provide extra-duty pay to campus personnel to further the program objectives and to provide support for teachers participating in professional development workshops, conferences, and/or conventions.

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17.  What are the limitations on administrative expenditures?

No more than 5 percent of the total grant awarded for any fiscal year may be expended to administer the program. Funds requested for administrative use must be requested in the application on the appropriate budget schedules, including indirect costs. Direct administrative costs may include costs associated with accounting and other fiscal activities, auditing, and overall program administration. Direct administrative costs also include salaries and benefits for staff who supervise activities of program staff and insurance that protects the grantee.

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18.  Can Texas Fitness Now funds pay for a Professional Development Speaker for non-awarded schools?

No, they can only be used by TFN eligible schools.

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19.  Who can schools contact for more information?

Information, including program guidelines, is available online at the TEA, Grant Opportunities Page, http://burleson.tea.state.tx.us/GrantOpportunities/forms/GrantProgramSearch.aspx.  For more information about the Texas Fitness Now program schools may email the Health and Safety Division at TEA or call 512/463-3070.   For more information about grant funding contact TEA’s Division of Formula Funding at 512/463-8525.

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Page last modified on 2/14/2012 09:47:19 AM.