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Proposal would make physical education optional in schools

Rep. Larry Metz (R)

By Lynn Hatter

Tallahassee, FL – The American Heart Association is opposing a proposal that would remove the physical education requirement from middle school curricula in Florida. Lynn Hatter reports the association says the bill is dangerous to the physical and financial health of all Floridians.

Republican Representative Larry Metz of Eustis, says his bill is meant to do away with an unfunded mandate. Earlier in the year he told the Orlando Sentinel that lawmakers should trust districts and not micromanage from Tallahassee. But in a release, the American Heart Association criticizes the move. The Association says 30-percent of Florida's children are obese, and the number of all Floridians overweight is at 62-percent.

School District officials in Leon County say while middle school P.E. IS an unfunded mandate, there are plenty other such mandates the state should be taking a look at instead.

Metz' proposal, House Bill 4057, is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday in the House K-20 Innovation Subcommittee.