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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How does Florida plan to save money? Cut middle school P.E.

From the Orlando Sentinel's school zone

by Erica Rodriguez

If state Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha has his way, middle school students would not be required to take physical education classes next year.

Students at Milestones Community School in Leesburg use yoga to fill a state mandated 30-minute exercise period

Metz is calling for the change in a repeal bill he filed recently for the second year in a row with the hope it could save cash-strapped school districts some funds.

“If you’re going to cut back the money you’ve got to cut back the mandates,” he said.

State statute now requires 150 minutes of physical education a week in elementary grades and one daily class a semester each year for middle schoolers. The rule went into effect in 2009 following years of physical education changes prompted by

former Gov. Charlie Crist at a time when the state’s phys ed laws were some of the weakest in the nation.

Metz – a former Lake County School Board member – isn’t sure how much could be saved from the change, but wants to give school districts more say in their phys ed offerings.

“(Phys ed) should just be something that is discretionary at the school district level,” he said.

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