The number of the week is ...
... 30. That's the number of minutes per day that Gov. Charlie Crist wants elementary school students to spend in physical education courses. Freshman Rep. Will Weatherford, a Wesley Chapel Republican, has filed a bill to accomplish that goal, though he says the current language probably will all be replaced. "My goal is to get basically 150 minutes of activity and education on wellness for our elementary school kids per week," Weatherford says.
You might be thinking, at what cost? With all the reading and math instruction the state already requires, and the decidedly academic focus on teaching the Sunshine State Standards, where is there room to put these classes? Many schools have given up recess as it is, and P.E. often comes as part of a weekly rotation of "specials" that include art and music.
"I know principals and teachers will be concerned because their days are packed already," Weatherford concedes, adding that he wants the law to be flexible enough that schools will not have to drop existing classes. But "most schools, I believe, have 30 minutes a day that they could take the time. If (children) are obese, or if they have health problems, they're not going to do well in the classroom."