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Wednesday
Feb062019

Stewart Bill to Improve Child Health by Increasing Student Access to Physical Education Passes Committee

SB 304 Phases in Daily Phys-Ed for All Elementary School Students


Sen. Mimi Stewart’s bill to improve child health in New Mexico by phasing in daily physical education for all elementary school students passed the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, 7-0.

“Education can’t just be about reading and writing,” Stewart said. “With record rates of childhood obesity and the chronic illnesses it causes, physical education is essential to ensuring that our kids are truly ready to succeed—in school and in life.”

SB 304 calls for 30 minutes of physical education for all elementary school students to be phased in over three successive school years. In 2019-2020, kindergartners and first-graders would start receiving daily phys-ed; in 2020-2021, second- and third-graders would have PE daily; and in 2021-2022 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders (in schools where grade six is in an elementary setting) would also start daily physical education.

“From improved motor skills to better health, kids benefit from quality physical education,” Stewart said. “I saw it myself when I was a teacher: Healthy kids, active kids do better in school. All children deserve this opportunity to grow.”

SB 304, which includes adjustments to the physical education funding formula and an appropriation of the first year of phase-in, will now move to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

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A retired teacher, Senate Majority Whip Mimi Stewart has served two years as chair of the Legislative Education Study Committee. Prior to becoming a state Senator, Stewart served 20 years in the New Mexico House of Representatives, where she chaired the Education Committee. Stewart lives in Albuquerque. Learn more at www.mimistewart.org and follow her on Twitter @Sen_MimiStewart and on Instagram @mimistewart9.