Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Schools struggle to meet PE Mandated Minutes Requirements

One-third of the children in West Virginia elementary schools did not receive the amount of physical education required by law last year, according to the state Board of Education. WV law requires 90 minutes of physical education a week for elementary school students. It is estimated that 30% of students and schools did not meet that requirement according to a report submitted to the State School Board.

Administrators at some schools that have not complied with the law claim that they do not have enough staff or adequate facilities to provide the required physical education. However one observer pointed out that if schools have staffing they have enough staff to comply with the mandate.

Monitoring requirements and sanctions fall with the state Office of Education Performance Audits. It is unlikely that things will change until State Board Members and the State Office of Education require physical education part of its criteria in determining whether public schools are doing an adequate job. "They should require - not request - that the physical education rules be met," was a solution pointed out by a local education reporter.