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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mandatory school recess proposal coming back for 2017 session

Samoya Gray, 7, right, runs on the playground during recess at North Beach Elementary. Samoya and fellow second-graders in teacher Jessica Jiminez's class have two 20-minute recesses per week, as required under the school district’s policy.

Marsha Halper / Miami Herald

Samoya Gray, 7, right, runs on the playground during recess at North Beach Elementary. Samoya and fellow second-graders in teacher Jessica Jiminez's class have two 20-minute recesses per week, as required under the school district’s policy.

29

November

A popular, parent-backed proposal to require daily recess at all of Florida’s public elementary schools will be back before the Florida Legislature next spring.

Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, filed a bill on Tuesday that mirrors one that died in the spring — despite fervent support — when one key senator from Pasco County refused to hear it in committee.

The measure, SB 78 for the 2017 session, mandates local school boards offer 20 minutes per day of “supervised, safe and unstructured free-play recess” for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Orlando Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia, who led the effort last year, will again champion it in the House. He said he’s in the process of drafting his bill for 2017 and plans to file it soon.

Last session’s proposal was initiated by passionate parents from all across Florida — primarily self-described “recess moms” in Tampa and Orlando, as well as Miami-Dade — who pleaded and lobbied for their lawmakers’ support in the 2016 session.

 

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 5:10pm]

    

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