With obesity rates rising among children, Florida legislators want to find a way to put a stop to it. They are pushing to increase the requirement for physical education for elementary school children.
The Florida legislature is considering a bill that would require kindergarten through 5-th grade students to spend at least 2 and half hours a week either exercising or learning about health.
Physical Education and Recess are some of the classes most kids look forward to while in school.
Jackson County's Superintendent Danny Sims says currently the schools follow the 90-minute a week minimum standard. Some of the schools even exceed it. "Some do 50-minutes 3-days a week some do 50-minutes 4-days a week and some do 30 minutes 5-days a week it varies from school to school."
Scheduling and school size could vary as well. Physical Education teacher Patti Johnson says with over 700 students at Riverside Elementary School it might be difficult to have one-on-one time with the kids. "If we have P.E. everyday it's going to make our class sizes larger and we're not going have a structural class."
"it's great for the kids to come out where they could of had class in the morning they get to come out they get to exercise they get to relieve stress they get to relive the tension they had."
Supt. Sims says P.E. is a class that sometimes gets pushed aside because of F-CAT. "Reading and Math are one of the most important things and that's what's graded. F-CAT does take a lot of time and the Sunshine State Standards, we don't spend all day teaching F-CAT. We spend all day teaching Sunshine State Standards."
Simms says it all begins at home. "I think the responsibility is on us as parents to see that our children get those activities when they get home."
Florida is one of 15 states with no P-E requirement for elementary students.