I'm surprised that The Perdue Team has time to govern. They seem much more interested in micro-managing Georgia classrooms.
Today, the Georgia Senate passed yet another unfunded mandate for local school systems. SB 474 (The Playground Bill) will require systems to focus significant resources (time and money) on physical education. Compliance with this bill may well require longer school days and may require that school systems spend more money hiring PE teachers.
Yes, boys and girls, four in ten of our ninth graders disappear before graduation, and we can predict future need for prison bedspace by looking at 3rd grade reading scores, yet, our priority is to make sure our kids get enough exercise. Where, exactly, are our priorities?
I don't know about you, but am all for promoting healthy kids, and all for including PE in academic programs, but the primary, uncompromising focus of our schools should be academic achievement. It appears that the Perdue Team is much more interested in athletics.
Like some of the other education legislation, this bill, at first blush, sounds great- let's make sure our kids get more exercise. But again, like SB 390, the devil is in the the details.
Among other things, this bill requires teacher training in the area of Physical Education, but provides no funds for such training, and remember, teacher training is excluded from the precious 65% mandate.
Plus, the bill requires that children, depending on grade level have between 150 and 225 minutes of PE each week and that this require physical exertion of "moderate to vigorous" intensity. ( I wonder who's going to police the "moderate to vigorous" requirement? Seriously, I am trying to imagine a 5K teacher make Frankie run instead of walk.)
Already, in Georgia, school systems have very little flexibility with regard to academic curriculum. The state prescribes how much of the day will be spent. Compliance with existing requirements, and with this new mandate may well require longer school days.