LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / ESPAÑOL
Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas Welcome to the Official Website for the Texas Senate
Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
 
Senator Jane Nelson: District 12
Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2007
Contact: Dave Nelson
512-463-0112
FITNESS INITIATIVE PROMOTES HEALTH AMONG STUDENTS

AUSTIN -- Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, unveiled legislation (SB 530) today that ramps up the state's efforts to promote basic health and exercise among our student population, more than a third of whom are overweight.

"In education, there are fundamentals and there are electives. Our health is as fundamental as reading, writing and arithmetic -- a lesson we must teach our students," said Senator Nelson, a former school teacher and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services. 'This legislation will give us a better understanding about how the physical health of our students affects academic achievement, dropout rates, absenteeism, and other issues."

SB 530 has 23 joint authors and support from a coalition of health advocates, including Kenneth Cooper, M.D, founder of the Cooper Institute in Dallas. Specifically, the bill:

  • Requires "moderate or vigorous" daily physical activity for students grades K-8.
  • Requires physical fitness assessment of K-12 students two times per year - once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester, beginning in the 2007-08 school year.
  • Assessments will be reported to TEA in summary form, by grade levels, omitting names of students or teachers.
  • Requires strict confidentiality of individual results, with exceptions for parents.
  • Directs TEA to analyze the results by school district, correlating results to student academic achievement levels, attendance levels, obesity, disciplinary problems, and school meal programs, by September 1 of the following year.
Senator Nelson represents District 12, which includes several communities in Tarrant and Denton counties.

###