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Posted at 11:37 AM ET, 02/11/2011

Virginia legislature passes bill requiring PE at public middle, elementary schools

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

The General Assembly is sending Gov. Bob McDonnell a bill requiring that all children in public elementary and middle schools participate in at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week to help fight the growing problem of childhood obesity.

The Republican-led House of Delegates voted for the bill a second time Friday after the Democratic-controlled Senate agreed to some minor changes -- exempting kindergartners who attend school half-days and not requiring daily activity.

It passed 55-40 after Dels. Dave Albo and Tom Rust, Republicans from Fairfax, spoke against the bill because it could lead to additional costs for schools and cuts in arts and music classes.

A spokesman for McDonnell (R) has said he would review the legislation before deciding whether to sign it into law.

The change would be most significant in kindergarten through fifth grade, where experts estimate that fewer than 10 percent of schools in Virginia meet the standard.

In 2008, state legislators passed a bill recommending 150 minutes of activity in schools, but most did not abide by the recommendation.

By Anita Kumar  | February 11, 2011; 11:37 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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Comments

This is the first generation of children that have a lower life expectance compare to their parents. One in three children now is diagnosed with diabetes. This is a "fat" disease. This isn’t the only answer (non-processed lunch food would help), but it is a great start.

Let get these kids off the butts and get their heart rate up in a healthy way.

Posted by: tcostant | February 11, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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