House Bill 242 (HB 242)

Marcus O'Malley -- January 17th, 2008

The HB 242 would revise the SOLs with respect to physical education. The bill would require local school boards to implement 150 minutes of physical education per week for all students in grades K-12 by the 2013-2014 school year. The requirement would be gradually phased in at the elementary school level, and recess would not be counted towards this requirement. The full text of HB 242 can be found here.

The Virginia General Assembly’s Education Committee’s subcommittee on Standards of Quality will be meeting on January 22, 2008 to discuss House Bill 242. After discussion there, the measure can either be tabled or proceed one step closer to becoming legislation by moving to the House of Delegates Committee on Education.

6 Responses to “House Bill 242 (HB 242)”

  1. marcus says:

    Faith Hecht gave me the information and also asked that we contact the committee members:
    “Without significant noise from the constituency, this bill is unlikely to move up the chain. You can contact each of the subcommittee members to voice your concerns and express your support for this measure. For your convenience, here are the names and email addresses for the members of the House of Delegates Education Committee’s Standards of Quality Subcommittee:
    Chairman: L. Scott Lingamfelter (R, 31st District)
    Members: Kenneth C. Alexander (D, 89th)
    Charles W. Carrico, Sr. (R, 5th)
    Mark L. Cole (R, 88th)
    Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R, 6th)
    Jeffrey M. Frederick (R, 52nd)
    Phillip A. Hamilton (R, 93rd)
    Jennifer L. McClellan (D, 71st)
    Thomas Davis Rust (R, 86th)
    Onzlee Ware (D, 11th)
    Delegate John O’Bannon is the co-sponsor of HB 242. His email address is”
    If you’re interested in learning more you can contact Faith at:

  2. Gxeremio says:

    As a teacher I’m not crazy about this bill. It seems to me that PE classes are best geared towards two groups: students who need them and students who want them.

    There are a lot of students who get plenty of enjoyable physical activity from after-school sports and would prefer to take other classes during their school day. On reading the bill, I see there is actually a loophole for that group which is an improvement.

    The practical effects of this bill that I see as negative are reduced time for other electives, reduced time for core classes, mandated cost increases (for hiring and space needs) for schools with younger and older students who don’t currently have PE 30 minutes a day, confusion for schools with block scheduling (like HHS, which only has 4 courses a semester – are 2 of 8 courses during the year going to be PE so they get it “every week”?), a reduction in recess (unstructured play time is important), and just generally that this seems like a “solution in search of a problem” – if the target is childhood obesity or need for play or something else, it should be more specifically addressed. I am having a hard time finding research that links increased PE classes with reduced childhood obesity rates.

  3. MAW says:

    I would much rather see an overhaul of the school lunch program. Stop serving “fast food”.

    I don’t see a problem with increased physical activity at the elementary level. I think that’s where it would be most effective.

    Why not offer a before or after school program for those who are interested or in need in middle and high school? Physical education majors could conduct the classes for credit.

  4. David Miller says:

    I would simply like to see bills that involve education be sponsored by a school district that needs or has implemented said changes to solve said problem.

  5. marcus says:

    Dave – that’s a good point. It might be something great we could pose to SRI. As I understand it they are creating a position specifically to help our local community. From what I hear the person is very interested in helping with youth interest.

    I would love to see the results of different programs nationally and their effectiveness (better diet, more exercise, better sports programs, etc).

  6. Robert Brewster says:

    I am a substitue teacher. We currently have 30 minutes a week in elementary schools here in Henrico County. To increase it by 500% in not wise. The facilities don’t exist. Each school has one gym. And you can’t take kids out on bad weather. Poor idea. And think of the impact on the SOL’s.

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