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According to California state law, all elementary school students should receive a minimum of 200 minutes of physical education (PE) every 10 days. For middle school students the number increases to 400 minutes of PE every 10 days.
Unfortunately, Latino students, along with other minority & low-income students, are often denied access to physical education, despite widespread support for physical education among California’s constituents.
In fact, The City Project reports that Californians not only favor PE, but they support it more than any other obesity prevention policy.
When low-income students and students of color receive disproportionately lower levels of physical education and schools fail to comply with state law—The City Project says this becomes a civil rights issue. That’s why communities must come together to ensure that all children receive quality and quantity of PE that they deserve.
Parents and school leaders can play vital roles when it comes to making sure their kids receive enough time spent in PE. To help parents & teachers speak in support of high-quality PE, the City Project recommends using a four-step approach:
1. Assess the state of PE standards. The state of California offers a Self-Assessment PE Checklist to help you determine how your local school is performing.
2. Use the PE MAP (Model Action Plan). This framework can help guide what steps schools need to take to implement high-quality PE and achieve the minimum amount of PE minutes required in all schools.
3. Physical Education Policy. Update or develop a PE policy using the template supplied here.
4. School Board Physical Education Resolution. Ask your school board to commit to high quality PE by adopting a PE resolution and see to it that a compliance plan is in place.
For more information view The City’s Project‘s blog here.
Parents can access a booklet to learn more about PE standards in California both in English and in Spanish here.
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By The Numbers
of Latino parents support public funding for afterschool programs