HomeLocal NewsHOUSE PASSES WESTERMAN COSPONSORED BILL TO PROTECT OUTDOOR EDUCATIONHOUSE PASSES WESTERMAN COSPONSORED BILL TO PROTECT OUTDOOR EDUCATIONTue, September 26, 2023 by GregSHARE NOW Rep Bruce WestermanToday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5110, the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act. Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) released the following statement:“As an avid outdoorsman, I was outraged to hear of the Biden Administration’s misinterpretation of the BSCA to stop funding for archery, hunting, target shooting, and other outdoor recreation classes and programs in schools. These classes and programs not only teach safe and legal handling of shooting sports equipment, but they provide unique experiences for students to learn responsibility, improve mental health, be a part of a team, and develop a passion for a sport,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman.“I was proud to cosponsor this bill to ensure that the Biden Administration cannot misinterpret the BSCA to block funding for these time-honored programs. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for joining me in protecting these enriching programs for students to enjoy and learn from for years to come.”Background:On July 31st, the U.S. Department of Education confirmed that through misinterpretation of language in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), schools with hunting and archery programs will not receive funding previously earmarked under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).The misinterpretation of the legislative intent of the BSCA would negatively impact millions of students across the country who participate in archery programs, hunter education classes, wilderness and outdoor classes, and school-sponsored target shooting teams. The misinterpretation would also undermine opportunities for hunter education courses that have been accredited with reducing fatalities related to hunting by over 80% since 1959.On August 4th, Congressman Westerman sent a letter, led by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and other House Republicans condemning U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Miguel Cardona and requesting a reversal of the action to withhold funds from hunting and archery education programs nationwide.On August 22nd, Congressman Westerman led a follow up letter with leaders of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus to ED Secretary Miguel Cardona requesting that the Department revisit the legislative intent of the BSCA and reissue guidance before millions of students would be negatively impacted.H.R. 5110, the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act, blocks the Biden Administration from misinterpreting the BSCA to stop funding for hunting, archery, and other outdoor recreation courses in schools.H.R. 5110 also amends the ESEA to clarify school’s programs educating students in archery, hunting, and related courses are eligible for funding.The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5110 424-1.