Legislators Weigh in on Mandated PE

Ohio legislators this week are discussing mandating Physical Education for all students.

Senator McCarthy and Kent State University professor Steve Mitchell said increased physical activity helps students to focus more on their studies, demonstrate better school attendance, increased test scores and have fewer disciplinary issues, during a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse Jan. 13.

And Mitchell downplayed criticism that the legislation would increase school costs.

"We can't afford not to [do this]," Mitchell said. "The long-term financial costs to the health care system in Ohio far outweigh the short-term costs of implementing the policies ... "

Advocates cite state-backed studies to support the legislation, stating that some 17 percent of Ohio third-graders are obese and one-third of today's children will develop diabetes during their lifetime.

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