Worries Mount Over Lack of Physical Education

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Monday, January 9, 2012

With public schools cutting back on spending for physical education, some members of Congress want to intervene, worried that the nation's schools are churning out too many fat kids.

The cutbacks are happening across the country.

In Washington state, the Franklin Pierce school district in the Tacoma suburb of Parkland discovered that it could save a quarter-million dollars by reassigning its seven physical education teachers to different positions.

And in New York, a city audit found that only 6 percent of the city's schools came anywhere near to offering the required two hours of physical education, or PE, for elementary-age children each week.

"It's obviously a clear problem," said Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash. "Childhood obesity is spiking, and actually our overall health is to some degree declining."

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