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FINAL VERSION OF FITNESS INITIATIVE SENT TO GOVERNOR
AUSTIN -- A conference committee has reached an agreement on differences between the Senate and House versions of SB 530 by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, promoting basic health and exercise among our student population. The House approved the report today, and the bill next moves to the governor's desk.
"More than a third of our student population is overweight, putting them at higher risk of developing chronic illnesses. We can reverse this trend, but only if we restore in our public schools a strong focus on basic health and exercise," said Senator Nelson, a former school teacher and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.
The conference report on SB 530 by Senator Nelson contains the following provisions:
- Requires 30 minutes of daily physical activity for students in grades K-5;
- Middle school students will be required to have 4 out of 6 semesters of physical activity;
- Allows schools to use structured recess to accomplish the physical activity requirement, but directs local school health advisory councils to consider and make policy recommendations concerning the importance of daily recess for elementary school students.
- Requires annual physical fitness assessment of students in grades 3-12 students, beginning in 2007-08;
- Assessments will be reported to TEA in summary form, omitting names of students or teachers;
- Requires strict confidentiality of individual results, except for parents who will be notified about how to request in writing their child's assessment results; and
- Directs TEA to analyze the results by school district, correlating results to student academic achievement levels, attendance levels, obesity, disciplinary problems, and school meal programs, by September 1 of the following year.
Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, represents District 12, encompassing parts of Tarrant and Denton counties.