Schools Include Walking To Class As P.E. 5-12-2011 - WSMV Channel 4

Schools Include Walking To Class As P.E. 5-12-2011

Reported By Dennis Ferrier
NASHVILLE, Tenn.
A record number of obese children in Tennessee has led to a call for more physical education. A bill just passed that hoped to add P.E. to every school day, but what sits on the governor's desk may not make parents or health advocates happy.

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The bill mandates 30 minutes of P.E. every day for every child in Tennessee, but attached to the bill is an amendment that takes the exercise out of the law.
The students at Harpeth Valley Elementary School don't get P.E. every day, but they get it more than the state average, more than the state law asks, and they score well on tests.
The American Heart Association said it isn't surprised, saying there are tests showing academics improve when children are physically active.
Nevertheless, it has been short of impossible to pass a law to put P.E. back in the daily routine. Right now, kids have to have 90 minutes a week of physical activity, and schools are permitted to include walking from class to class as part of that activity.
That's what led Rep. Gary Moore to propose a bill that would include mandatory P.E. for 30 minutes a day. But educators lobbied against it, saying they couldn't keep test scores up and couldn't deal with No Child Left Behind. They said that more P.E. would lead to more problems.
So now, the bill only requires schools to report exactly how they are providing 90 minutes of exercise a week.
The American Heart Association said Tennessee is No. 4 in obesity and that one out of three Tennesseans is obese. Obese kids become obese adults, it said.

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