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Will Your School District Cut P.E.?

by Julie H. on Monday, June 10, 2013

Rumblings began in early May of elementary and middle schools cutting P.E. classes and teachers around the state. Although school districts received close to one-billion dollars more in their budgets from the legislature, much of the money was allocated to specific items. As such, school districts are still feeling a pinch when it comes to funding programs. This often leads to conversations about altering P.E. in schools.

In Charlotte County, schools are considering cutting P.E. and incorporating glorified recess with non-certified P.E. teachers at the helm. While they would continue with thirty minutes of activity a day, P.E. teachers would be unavailable to guide and teach the students. Also, the possibility exists of having up to 100 students in a given period of P.E. with minimum structure and guidance for the students to create healthy habits.

Another county that is looking to change their P.E. structure is Pinellas County. Pinellas is examining a block format for P.E., which would include three classes per week at fifty minutes per class. While this meets the standards of 150 minutes per week as stated in statute, it does not meet the best practice standards recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This would severely diminish the quality of physical education in Pinellas schools and the Teacher Pupil Ratio (TPR) would increase dramatically.

The American Heart Association is working with local and coalition partners in both counties, in an effort to ensure students receive quality P.E. in schools.

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