According to a recently published Texas Governor Rick Perry web site press release, Governor Perry himself signed Senate Bill 530 on Thursday, August 30, 2007. The number bill instates new middle school physical education and activity requirements for students. It also requires fitness evaluations for all children that attend public schools within the state of Texas.
While Governor Perry ceremonially signed the bill, he was joined by local Texas education leaders, other legislators, parents, teachers, and students at Forest Vista Elementary School.
Governor Perry said at the signing of the bill, “Unhealthy habits at a young age can lead to diabetes, and over time, to heart disease, strokes and even cancer. Combined with the healthy guidelines that the Texas Department of Agriculture has implemented in the school lunch program, this legislation will help make children healthier today for a healthier Texas tomorrow.”
Texas mother Joanie Winfrey said, “It’s great that kids are getting the physical activity they need at school. All of my three kids, two in middle school and one in high school, will be affected by this new bill. The whole thing will only be positive for them and for all kids within the Texas public school system. I know a lot of parents are feeling the same way as I am. It’s great to know that the state is helping kids get on a healthier life track.”
Senate Bill 530 will require annual physical fitness evaluations for all students between the 3rd and 12th grades starting at the beginning of the school year. All of the results of the physical fitness evaluations must be reported to and looked over by the Texas Education Agency. From here, the Agency will inform students’ parents of their fitness results and give them information on how to help their children achieve fitness and health goals throughout the year and their future.
In addition, Senate Bill 530 will require that all middle school students participate in physical education programs and classes for four semesters. The standard is currently set at two semesters, but the new standard will be put in effect during the 2008-2009 school year. Middle school students may also be exempt from the PE requirement by participating in local sports leagues as authorized by the Texas Education Agency.
The new bill went into effect this past June 15th. More information about the bill can be obtained from any local Texas public school or on the State of Texas website at governor.state.tx.us.