ST. PAUL, MINN. – The Senate recently referred to the Education Committee a bill that measures the quality and quantity of physical education in schools. Countless studies have shown that physical education programs in schools benefit students’ learning capacities and long-term health, which is why Senator Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) authored the legislation. A follow-up to a 2010 law that requires all school districts include a physical education minimum standard, SF 2207 calls for the implementation of a survey to assess physical education accomplishments as a step toward potential improvements to be made based on results.
“We want to know how much time our kids spend being physically active through the course of a school day,” said Sen. Kent. “The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children receive between 150 and 225 minutes per week of physical education depending on grade level. We want to know how Minnesota measures up.”
The legislation would direct the commissioner of education to prepare a report for the legislature on K-12 students’ experience with physical education. The specific proposal asks the Department of Education to provide a summary detailing how much time kids spend in physical education and their access to recess, as well as how schools are measuring and assessing students’ fitness levels.
“It’s so important that we know our kids are benefiting from physical education programs in their schools,” Sen. Kent said. “Not only does an effective physical education program help a child’s health; it helps yield higher test scores and fewer disciplinary issues. It’s truly a win-win situation.”