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Published: Tuesday, 11/18/2003

Fedor keeps pushing for physical education

State Sen. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo) said she hopes her bill that would help set statewide standards for physical education, which passed the Senate 33-0 last week, will find the same support in the House of Representatives.

Ms. Fedor said yesterday that the bill, which would require the State Board of Education to draft academic standards with model curricula for physical education in public schools by 2007, will go to the House Education Committee.

“We've been engineering activity out of out lives, and now it's catching up with us,” said Ms. Fedor, a former teacher. “A lot of the [educational] budget cuts have been targeting P.E. programs, and schools aren't purchasing needed equipment.”

Standards for gym classes have been in limbo since 1999 when they became tied to a dispute over sex education.

Since then, physical education has been optional for public schools.

Ms. Fedor said the state has lost $1.6 million in aid because it did not have standards and curricula for physical education in place.

“We kind of threw out the baby with the bathwater by not separating these two issues,” health and physical education, Ms. Fedor said. “Now we can move on with what we can fix and decide on.”

She said she expects the bill to have smooth sailing in committee and on the House floor. She said the bill could help address some of the childhood obesity issues that have come to the forefront recently.

“I think we were able to address a lot of the concerns in the Senate,” Ms. Fedor said. “I think this is a step in the right direction. In school, we want to promote healthy habits and lifestyles.”

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