COLUMBUS - The State Board of Education would be forced to adopt standards and model curricula for physical education in Ohio schools under a bill introduced yesterday by Sen. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo).
In 1999, a bid by Ohio to pass health-physical education standards failed amid a dispute over sex education. Since, phys-ed has been left to local school districts, some of which downplay gym in favor of academics.
“Today more and more children are playing basketball, baseball, football, golf, and soccer on the couch of America instead of the athletic fields of our schools, yards, and parks,” said Ms. Fedor.
The bill - supported by such organizations as the American Cancer and Heart associations and Ohio Dietetic Association - also calls for the restoration of a physical education director within the Department of Education at a cost of about $60,000 a year.
“In Ohio, the percentage of residents classified as obese has risen from 14.9 percent in 1991 to 21 percent,” or one in five, said Ms. Fedor.