Public schools; physical activity requirement. (SB155)

Introduced By

Sen. John Miller (D-Newport News)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Public schools; physical activity requirement. Requires at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day during the regular school year for students in grades kindergarten through eight. This requirement becomes effective beginning with the 2016-2017 school year. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
12/31/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14102161D
12/31/2013Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/08/2014Assigned Education sub: Public Education
01/29/2014Impact statement from DPB (SB155)
01/30/2014Reported from Education and Health with substitute (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/30/2014Committee substitute printed 14104407D-S1
01/31/2014Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)
02/03/2014Read second time
02/03/2014Reading of substitute waived
02/03/2014Committee substitute agreed to 14104407D-S1
02/03/2014Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB155S1
02/04/2014Read third time and passed Senate (37-Y 2-N)
02/07/2014Placed on Calendar
02/07/2014Read first time
02/07/2014Referred to Committee on Education
02/07/2014Assigned Education sub: Elementary and Secondary Education
02/19/2014Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
03/04/2014Left in Education

Comments

Virginia Fitz Shea writes:

The description above is incorrect. It states that the bill requires at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day during the regular school year for students in grades kindergarten through eight. The bill requires local school boards to implement a program of physical activity available to all students in grades kindergarten through five consisting of at least 20 minute per day or an average of 100 minutes per week during the school year and available to all students in grades six through 12 with a goal of at least 150 minutes per week on average during the regular school year.

I do not understand what the bill means in saying "available to all students in grades six through 12." I do know that the last portion of this sentence doesn't actually require anything. Fairfax County and other school districts know that "goal" is a legislative code word for "not required."

I think the mistake in summarizing the bill comes from interpreting the "goal" of 150 minutes of physical activities as a requirement for 150 minutes per week, or 30 minutes a day, which it is not. This language regarding 150 minutes as a goal has been in the Code of Virginia for several years and Fairfax and other school districts pay no attention to "goals" that are not actually requirements.

The provisions of this act would become effective beginning with the 2016-1017 school year. Virginia already requires daily recess. Recess alone could satisfy the requirements of the bill, and it is not terribly ambitious to state that recess or other physical activities should last at least 20 minutes per day. According to PilotOnline.com, “Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw, D-Fairfax County, asked Miller whether he would consider putting an emergency clause on the bill, an amendment to make it effective much sooner. Miller said he wouldn’t.”
Saslaw represents my district and I agree with him that the implementation would be delayed too long.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

The description above is incorrect.

Huh, you're right—the summary of this bill doesn't match the text. That's not an error on Richmond Sunlight—the same error is on the legislature's site. Well, I'm glad you pointed that out!