House of Delegates Approves Mandatory PE Bill

February 1, 2011

The House of Delegates has passed legislation that would require public school divisions to require physical education in elementary and middle schools in an effort to fight childhood obesity and emphasize the importance of keeping active and staying healthy.

The House voted 65-31 Tuesday to approve Del. John O'Bannon's measure, which would require students from kindergarten through eighth grade to get an average of at least 150 minutes of PE per week. Half-day kindergarten programs would be exempt from the requirement. The legislation would take effect in the 2014-15 school year.

The Senate voted last week to approve a similar bill, which also would require school boards to develop goals to implement similar programs for high school students. But the Senate bill wouldn't mandate physical education at that level.

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