Bill could end "teacher P.E." in Florida
TAMPA -- The days of "teacher P.E." -- with classroom teachers leading students through calisthenics or watching them romp on the playground to satisfy state requirements -- could be coming to an end.
Under Senate Bill 1320, sponsored by Republican Sen. Stephen Wise of Jacksonville, students in grades K-8 would be required to get their weekly 150 minutes of physical education from a certified P.E. teacher. The measure, which receives its first hearing today before the Senate PreK-12 Education Committee, is co-sponsored by Sen. Ronda Storms, R- Brandon, and Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood.
Supporters talk about the need to get serious about child obesity and keep kids physically active. But it ain't cheap. The new requirement would be phased in over five years, and would nearly double the number of certified P.E. teachers in Florida from 2,917 to 5,247. The cost: around $108.8 million annually in additional teacher salaries, according to a bill analysis.