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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida's new P.E. law: Please buy in



Tct_academy121208_49091c As Florida middle schoolers head back to classes this month, they face yet another requirement on their time. Fearing childhood obesity, lawmakers now want sixth- through eighth-graders taking daily physical education courses.

Families can opt out if their kids meet certain requirements. Rhonda F. Banks, president of the state's Physical Education Association, urges them not to do so.

In a piece for the Orlando Sentinel, Banks says children can benefit from the new rule, but schools and communities must take it seriously rather than trying to find ways around it. Among her suggestions:

  • Have certified physical educators teach the classes.
  • Keep the class sizes to 25 kids.
  • Don't waive the requirement.
"Should physical education be mandatory?" she writes. "According to the U.S. government in its recently released set of guidelines, adolescents should participate daily in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. A better question is: How can we help our students grow into healthy, active adults who value physical activity."

Here's hoping the schools have figured out how to fit it in.

(Times file photo)


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:31am]


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