In an effort to fight early obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and related ailments, the Virginia State Board of Education is moving forward with proposed guidelines for physical education as required by the General Assembly.
While these guidelines are just that, the DOE did not create additional mandates outside of what was proposed by the General Assembly. This was to avoid forcing school divisions to have to pay for additional resources and staffing and to give school divisions more flexibility--as State Board President David Foster explained.
"The General Assembly has acted in the code to say that schools shall implement a program of physical fitness with a goal of at least 150 minutes a week on average, so I'm not sure I'm personally comfortable going beyond that to stipulate what they must do in any given division. That seems to be the will of the General Assembly to have that goal," said Foster.
The legislation requires the Board of Education to coordinate with the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics in developing a curriculum which will be implemented next school year. The state also has specific Standard of Learning Guidelines with a goal of enabling students to engage in meaningful physical activities to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.