P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2009
AUSTIN — Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today filed three pieces of legislation designed to improve the health of Texas' youth, more than 40% percent of whom are either overweight or obese and at risk of developing chronic illnesses.
"Far too many of our youth are leading super-sized, sedentary lifestyles which put their lives in danger," Senator Nelson said. "Unless we take action, an entire generation of Texans will live shorter lives than their parents."
Texas' rate of obese and overweight young people is more than double the national average of 16% and ranks as the sixth worst in the nation. The following bills filed today address the issue:
SB 890 by Senator Nelson seeks to expand the PE requirement to cover all six semesters of middle school. Currently, students must complete the equivalent of 30 minutes daily of PE in 4 of the 6 semesters of middle school.
SB 891 by Senator Nelson defines physical education in state law in order to ensure that students receive an actual health benefit.
SB 892 by Senator Nelson directs schools to report on the progress of their coordinated school health programs to local school boards via Campus Improvement Plans, which are already required annual reports.
In addition to the three bills filed today, Senator Nelson filed two bills earlier this session with the goal of improving student health. SB 282 establishes nutrition and nutrition education grants for schools, pre-kindergarten and community or faith-based youth organizations. SB 283 clarifies the role school health advisory councils should play in school health policy.