P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2007
AUSTIN -- The Senate Committee on Education today unanimously approved SB 530 by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, promoting basic health and exercise among our student population. The bill next moves to the full Senate for consideration.
"We need to get back to the basics of health and nutrition, which has historically been a bedrock of public education. Our youth are at risk of becoming the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents. It will happen unless we act quickly to reverse the trend of obesity and inactivity," said Senator Nelson, a former school teacher and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.
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. As amended, SB 530:
- Requires "moderate or vigorous" daily physical activity for students grades K-8;
- Allows transition time for middle schools to begin implementation in 2008-09 school year with special consideration for block scheduling;
- Requires annual physical fitness assessment of K-12 students, 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, except for parents who will be notified about how to request in writing their child's assessment results;
- 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.