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Heart Association warns of PE provisions in school funding reform bill

Thursday, Aug 31, 2017

* From the American Heart Association…

“Recent actions from Illinois lawmakers to reduce the amount of physical education kids receive will have a detrimental impact on our children,” said Dr. Karen Larimer, president of the American Heart Association’s Chicago Board of Directors. “Research has proven that fit kids learn better. They perform better in school and have fewer behavioral issues. Physical education not only provides a way for kids to be active every day, but it teaches them lifelong lessons about how to live a healthy lifestyle. Eliminating daily physical education and allowing P.E. three days per week instead of five days a week, while also allowing additional grades to opt-out of P.E. using waivers, puts kids’ health last in Illinois. At a time when one in three children in America are obese and are suffering from conditions like Type 2 diabetes and hypertension, it should be of the utmost importance.”

Point of information: The bill allows school districts to cut PE back to three days per week from five, and allows student athletes to opt out of PE class in grades 7-10. Currently, student athletes who are juniors and seniors can opt out.

And from WGN

Illinois officials have bragged that the state was the first nationwide to require daily PE classes under a decades-old law, something educators argue is more critical than ever with widespread anti-obesity efforts. However, the Illinois State Board of Education says most districts offer only four days a week on average. Schools say they often don’t have staff or facilities.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:53 pm:

    When you shortchange education funding and require testing and reporting on a few subjects, schools will cut back on PE, music, art, science, and history, and spend the limited resources on reading, writing, and math (the tested subjects). All that time in PE is time they could be working on math and writing!

    If we want students to be in a broader range of courses and experiences, we have to change the incentives and increase funding.

    You get what you pay for…and what you test for.


  2. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:55 pm:

    I think PE is important, but not all-important. Student athletes should be able to opt out if they are on a team, and use that extra hour of the day for academics. Also I’m not sure a high-achieving kid academically shouldn’t have the ability to take another AP or college prep academic class if they so desire. PE isn’t going to help such a kid get into college. The point about it being expensive is true as well. It’s not as simple as just buying a few balls these days.


  3. - Deft Wing - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    Yeah, that decades old PE requirement is working great. Illinois is still among the fattest states in the Country. Should we then double down and require 2 hours per day of PE and water down (even more) math and science?


  4. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    I’d like to know how many schools are following the PE requirement now. My kids’ school is not.


  5. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:04 pm:

    1.) Which way do we want it? Is there some panic about childhood obesity and their health and future health or do we not care? If PE is diminished in schools, then activity leves and food consumption weighs entirely on parents/home (duh, like where it belongs in the first place in my opinion)

    2.) Anyone who is for less activity and more sitting/concentrating in the classroom has never set foot in a classroom for any length of time. At least certainly not in an instructional capacity. THink your kids are squirrely at home? Try having them sit still for hours, particularly when the need to do something in class they don’t particulary care to do.

    3.) Parents must come to volunteer in schools. Not for an hour. FOr a day at least at a time. People have no clue. None. Period.


  6. - Gone, but not forgotten - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:06 pm:

    Since kids won’t be drinking soda pop in Cook County, they won’t need any PE as they won’t be overweight and diabetic. Oh? It’s not working out that way?


  7. - 360 Degree Turnaround - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:17 pm:

    Maybe we can get a scholarship program for PE classes.


  8. - Sgt. Slaughter - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    “We must reduce government spending.”
    “Yeah, but don’t cut me.”
    Signed,
    Everyone Ever


  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    Deft

    Schools don’t raise ‘em.


  10. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    Just make that soda tax state wide. Skinny healthy kids all around


  11. - Responsa - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    ==Just make that soda tax state wide. Skinny healthy kids all around==

    Except the SNAP kids. Aye there’s the rub.


  12. - blue dog dem - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    Obviously the Heart Association can’t read.


  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Kids need to run off steam. Being cooped up in a classroom all day is not the answer.


  14. - blue dog dem - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    Lots of comments. Did ya’ll read the thing?


  15. - Responsa - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:58 pm:

    I think it’s well within the Heart Association’s wheelhouse and mission to stress the importance of exercise for both adults and children alike. Movement such as walking and more strenuous exercise is good for the blood flow in the heart muscle and other organs. What makes them look silly in this case is trying to tie their advocacy statement to a specific bill in a specific state without knowing all the background and facts first.


  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 4:02 pm:

    Waiting for them to cite the research that proves
    the actual advantage of daily vs. 3x a week. Or vs. no PE.

    I suspect I’ll be waiting a looooong time.


  17. - JS Mill - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 4:02 pm:

    It is ok to make cuts until they affect you.

    That is all anyone had to say.

    If I had to drop a program it would be PE. Younger kids get recess (usually) and older kids have sports. Be nice if we could make everyone happy but that will never happen.


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