Local News

State Education Board Wants To Add More Time For PE

Posted January 8, 2003

— The State Board of Education is looking at a plan that would mandate a specific amount of physical education for students.

For many adults, exercise is a chore, but for most kids, it is seen as a joy. State Treasurer and State Board of Education member Richard Moore is passionately lobbying for consistent physical education in our schools. He said he was an overweight teenager who claims his life changed when he made health a priority.

"It was lockstep with understanding proper nutrition and physical fitness," Moore said.

"It comes down, in my opinion, to how much mandating the state board is going to do to schools and how much it is not," said Jane Norwood, a member of the State Board of Education.

The plan requires elementary students to take 150 minutes of PE a week and middle school students will need 225 minutes a week. Currently, the state has no time requirments for any subjects.

Another concern is that the program would require more PE teachers and money the state does not have.

"I also believe real strongly that adopting this proposal would be a huge unfunded mandate in terms of staff, in terms of facilities and in terms of equipment," said Phil Kirk, chairman of the State Board of Education.

"I don't think we can reach a compromise. There won't be a 24-hour miracle on this issue," Superintendent Mike Ward said.

The board is slated to vote on the proposal Thursday, but many board members feel the issue needs more debate. The board may form a committee to study it further.


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