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TribBlog: Physical Education Requirements Soon to be Gone

Amid handwringing over child obesity, SBOE likely will eliminate health and physical education requirements at this week's meeting.

Texas high school students may no longer know the trauma of the ugly gym uniform.

Last session's HB 3, the school accountability bill, got rid of almost all elective class requirements on the standard plan (the one that applies to the vast majority of students).  But there are two other degree plans the legislation did not address — the minimum (a less structured academic schedule) and advanced (a highly demanding course of study). 

State Board of Education chairwoman Gail Lowe says the board will eliminate requirements for health and PE for these plans to bring them in line with the standard curriculum. The SBOE comes to Austin tomorrow to begin a week of meetings, and Lowe believes the new requirement measures will pass. But those pushing for physical education can take comfort in another change: Athletes will likely start getting credit for after-school sports, Lowe said. 

With the national focus on physical activity and decreasing obesity, the board expects some opposition to the change, but nothing like the recent controversies over science and social studies curriculum. 

In fact, Lowe is hoping for a low-intensity meeting. "My goals are to get through the week without any body putting my name in a story," she said.

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