Sunday, February 14, 2010

Physical activity and Kentucky requirements

On the one hand, Joan Buchar's argument for physical education in today's Herald-Leader makes an important case for schools to promote healthy habits in all our children.  The issue deserves sustained effort from our state, schools, and families.

On the other hand, she fails to mention that in Kentucky, every school council serving students in grades K-6 is required to arrange 150 minutes of physical activity for each student.  That requirement is found in KRS 160.345(11), which says:
Each school council of a school containing grades K-5 or any combination thereof, or if there is no school council, the principal, shall develop and implement a wellness policy that includes moderate to vigorous physical activity each day and encourages healthy choices among students. The policy may permit physical activity to be considered part of the instructional day, not to exceed thirty  minutes per day, or one hundred and fifty minutes per week. Each school council, or if there is no school council, the principal, shall adopt an assessment tool to determine each child's level of physical activity on an annual basis. The council or principal may utilize an existing assessment program. The Kentucky Department of Education shall make available a list of available resources to carry out the provisions of this subsection. The department shall report to the Legislative Research Commission no later than November 1 of each year on how the schools are providing physical activity under this subsection and on the types of physical activity being provided. The policy developed by the school council or principal shall comply with provisions required by federal law, state law, or local board policy.


  1. Susan, as you know if this were being adhered to then there wouldn't be a need for a new bill to go before general assembly. I guess someone forgot what accountability means...

  2. @ptapeep,

    Actually, I hadn't heard direct reports on nonadherence until you wrote, but I'm not surprised. That happens to lots of state legislation about what schools should do for kids.

    The puzzle for me is to figure out how to get a short list of rules that KDE will actually enforce--because words on paper are just words are on paper.

    Is there a group that could document the noncompliance and take the proof to legislators? And do it again every year for a decade?

  3. Read it more carefully. It says not to exceed 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes a week. That's a maximum threshold when what's needed is a minimum threshold.

  4. To tie into the discussion:

    A bill in the Kentucky House that mandates 30 minutes of physical activity be set aside each day for schoolchildren does not have the support of local education officials.

    While there may be good intentions behind House Bill 52 - which aims to reduce obesity and improve body mass index in children, according to its authors - there is nothing good about its practical or logistical implementation, Warren County and Bowling Green school officials said.


Updates and data on Kentucky education!